BUDGET 2015: Opportunities for mid-size businesses

| May 20, 2015

What does the 2015 Federal Budget offer First 5000 members? Roxane Horton who attended a post budget briefing by accounting firm Grant Thornton last week in Brisbane reports.

Mid-size businesses looking for measures targeting them in this year’s budget will probably still be flicking pages because that chapter seemed to be missing.

It’s a shame that a sector that injects an estimated $241 billion into the economy didn’t get more support. However putting the grumbling to one side and playing with the hand that’s been dealt, accounting firm Grant Thornton identified four key areas of opportunity for mid-sized businesses:

Anyone competing with digital imports
Ensuring the GST applies equally to imported and domestic digital services is aimed at going some way to creating a more level playing field in the digital world. This includes anyone in the online music, movie, e-book or legal and consulting sectors.

Capital equipment sellers to small businesses
New rules allowing immediate deductibility on every asset costing less than $20,000 for businesses with annual turnover less than $2 million came in from the moment the 2015 Budget was read and will stay in place until the end of June 2017. Flow on benefits will accrue to mid sized businesses who are in the market selling capital items to small businesses.

Mid-size businesses engaged in infrastructure in Northern Australia
The $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility will be available for projects like ports, railways, pipelines and electricity generation. A first ever White Paper on Developing Northern Australia is to be released later this year. Hopefully that will clarity a few key details such as: where exactly does Southern Australia stop and Northern Australia start?

Employee Share Schemes
Australia has the second highest proportion of new business start ups in the world. Starting July 1, 2015 expanded tax concessions for employee share schemes and making crowd sourced equity funds more accessible is aimed at helping business start ups and will have positive flow on effects for mid size accounting firms who will benefit from start ups seeking advice on the new rules.

Looking forward to Budget 2016 – Grant Thornton’s wish list for mid-size businesses is still to be met on a few items:

  • Increasing the cap on Austrade Export Market Development Grants from businesses with $50 million turnover up to $250 million turnover.
  • Improving the capacity of mid-sized business to access skilled talent by speeding up processing of 457 visas.
  • Cutting the tax rate for mid-sized businesses down to 28.5 per cent.
  • Providing cheaper access to capital in the form of non- traditional financing options.

There you go Joe, let’s meet again this time next year.