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TELSTRA BUSINESS SURVEY BRIEF

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By James Perkins
3 Feb, 2012

TAX write offs available to small and medium businesses (SMBs) are not being utilised, with many operators unaware they exist.

The third annual Telstra-COSBOA Back to Business Study found just 24 per cent of SMB owners knew of the instant write-off for the first $5000 outlay on any capital asset from July, announced by the Federal Government last year.

The tax break was among measures for SMBs that included a write-off on all other assets (except buildings) above $5000 in a single depreciation pool at 30 per cent and a reduction in the company tax rate to 29 per cent.

Council of Small Business Australia CEO Peter Strong finds it surprising that so many SMBs are unaware of the stimulus at a time when many are under pressure.

“There’s a clear message that the (Gillard) Government needs to do more to sell its initiatives, while the low approval rating for all MPs shows they could be doing more to focus on the needs of small business,” he says.

Telstra Business Group managing director Will Irving, says the tax write-off would help SMBs upgrade technology and improve cash flow.

“The research shows almost a quarter (23 per cent) plan to invest in technology this year to lift productivity while 36 per cent intend to boost their online presence,” he says.

The Telstra-COSBOA poll is taken to gauge issues of importance to small business ahead of the return of Federal Parliament.

SMBs rated the European financial crisis as the biggest issue they would face in the next 12 months, with 27 per cent nominating it as the key issue of concern, ahead of a carbon tax on 24 per cent.

While 73 per cent were ‘very concerned’ or ‘somewhat concerned’ about the carbon tax, 26 per cent said they were not.

SMBs are telling the Labor Government that tax reform is its biggest area for improvement, scoring it at 38 per cent, with its performance in financial management (39 per cent) rating only one point higher.


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