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Foreshadowed small business tax changes to benefit rideshare drivers

Jack Malarkey

Well-Known Member
On Thursday 11 October 2018, the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, and the Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, foreshadowed changes to the income tax treatment of small and medium businesses: http://jaf.ministers.treasury.gov.au/media-release/027-2018/.

The announcement mainly concerned accelerating reductions in the small business company tax rate.

Of particular interest to rideshare drivers operating as individual sole traders, however, is the later part of the announcement foreshadowing earlier increases in the small business income tax offset available to individuals carrying on a small business.

Individuals with small business income receive a percentage discount (currently 8%, originally 5%) on the income tax payable on that business income up to a maximum tax saving of $1,000 for any one income year.

As currently legislated, the discount percentage is due to increase from 8% to 10% for the 2024-25 income year; to 13% for 2025-26; and to 16% for 2026-27.

Under the changes as now foreshadowed, the discount percentage will now instead increase from 8% to 13% for the 2020-21 income year and 16% for 2021-22 onwards.

These most recent proposed changes will need to be legislated. The Leader of Opposition, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, announced on Friday 12 October 2018 that the Australian Labor Party would support these changes so it’s close to certain that Parliament will enact them. Please see, for example, https://www.google.com.au/amp/amp.abc.net.au/article/10369226.

The Treasurer will be introducing the legislative amendments into Parliament next week.

For general information about the small business income tax offset, please see https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Income-and-deductions-for-business/In-detail/Small-business-income-tax-offset/.
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