$20,000 instant asset write-off extension passes Parliament after months of uncertainty
In what’s sure to be good news for Australian business owners, legislation to extend the popular $20,000 instant asset write-off tax scheme for another 12 months has successfully passed through Parliament with no opposition.
The federal government said in the May budget that it intended to extend the write-off until June 30, 2019, but small businesses have been forced to wait for four months for the extension to be secured.
The legislation passed through the Senate this month with no amendments, despite Greens Senator Nick McKim pushing for an extension of the write off amount to $30,000 when spent capital on assets relating to clean energy or energy efficiency.
The same amendment was proposed in the House of Representatives by MP Adam Bandt, who said earlier this year it was a way for the government to provide SMEs with an incentive to switch away from fossil fuels.
“We think businesses should get a greater level of government support if they’re investing in energy efficiency or switching from fossil fuels to renewables, so the instant asset write-off should be increased to support this,” he said at the time.
Senator Zed Seselja told the Senate the government would not be supporting the amendment because it does not align with its budget impact calculations.
“The government’s $20,000 instant asset write off is widely supported by stakeholders and applies to all small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10 million dollars. In extending the threshold further yet, the government has sought to strike a balance between helping small business’ cashflow and investment and the revenue impact on the budget,” he said.
“We therefore don’t support the amendment.”
Senator McKim said it was “no surprise” the Labor party nor the Coalition won’t support the amendment, claiming the two parties are fully owned “lock, stock, and smoking barrel” by the fossil fuel industry.
“This amendment would encourage and incentivise small business to invest into infrastructure and assets that would result in an energy efficiency dividend for small business, which would bring Australia’s emissions profile down, as well as improving the bottom line of small business,” he said.
“This is an amendment that supports small business, and as we know, the Coalition and Labor are the parties for corporates and big business.”
McKim also stressed the small business community supported the amendment to the bill, citing COSBOA chief executive Peter Strong’s support for the extension. Strong said earlier in the year he supported the amendment, but was worried it would increase complexity for small business owners.
New Small Business Minister Michaelia Cash has said the government is investigating the permanent extension of the popular tax scheme.