This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.
End of attention
Who is this schedule for?
If you complete items 14, 15 or 16 of your tax return (supplementary section), you must fill in the Business and professional items schedule for individuals 2013 and send it in with your tax return. These instructions will help you to fill in the schedule. If the business or professional items that apply to you are not filled in, your tax return may be sent back to you. We consider that your tax return has not been lodged until it is returned to us complete.
We may apply a penalty if your tax return and completed schedule are lodged late. For information on the penalty for failing to lodge on time, see Individual tax return instructions 2013 (NAT 71050).
If you have a net loss from a business activity carried on in partnership with others, you may need to complete items P3 and P9 of the schedule. See question 13 in Individual tax return instructions supplement 2013 (NAT 71051). Do not include your partnership details at any other item on your schedule.
From this year, if you are required to complete the Business and professional items schedule you cannot lodge a paper tax return. You must lodge your tax return online or a registered tax agent.
You will also need to complete the Individual PAYG payment summary schedule 2013 (NAT 3647) if you received any of the following:
These instructions will also help you fill in the Individual PAYG payment summary schedule 2013.
How long did it take you to complete this schedule?
We are committed to reducing the costs involved in complying with your tax obligations. Your response to this item will help us monitor these costs as closely as possible.
Write the number of hours it took you to prepare and complete your Business and professional items schedule for individuals 2013 at S on page 4 of your schedule.
When completing this item, consider the time, rounded up to the nearest hour, you spent:
- reading the instructions
- collecting the necessary information to complete this schedule
- making any necessary calculations
- completing the schedule, and
- putting the tax affairs of your business in order so the information can be handed to your tax agent.
Your answer should reflect the time your business spent preparing and completing your schedule and the time spent by your tax agent and any other person whose assistance you obtained.
If you are a tax agent preparing this schedule on behalf of your client, include your time and a reliable estimate of their time.
Records you need to keep
You must keep records of most transactions in English for five years after you prepared or obtained them, or five years after you completed the transactions or acts to which they relate, whichever is the later. Taxation Ruling TR 96/7 Income tax: record keeping – section 262A – general principles clarifies the record-keeping obligations of small businesses, particularly for cash transactions. If you have losses, you should generally keep records for four years from the year of income when a tax loss is fully deducted or if you have applied a net capital loss, you should generally keep your records of the CGT event that resulted in the loss until the end of any period of review for the income year in which the capital loss is fully applied. Penalties can apply if you do not keep the records for the period required.
We are helping small business operators to meet their record-keeping obligations by reviewing their record-keeping practices. These reviews start with a phone call or a brief visit to the business premises. You can ask questions and an interview is arranged for a later date.
Some of the more significant record-keeping problems we have identified are failure to:
- record cash income and expenditure
- account for personal drawings
- record goods for your own use
- separate private expenses from business expenses
- keep valid tax invoices for creditable acquisitions when registered for the goods and services tax (GST)
- keep adequate stock records
- keep adequate records to substantiate motor vehicle claims.
For additional information, see Manage your invoices, payments and records.
Choice of superannuation fund
You must keep records that show you have met your choice of superannuation fund obligations. For further information about the records you need to keep, go to Super for employers or phone 13 28 64.
Hobby or business?
It is important to determine whether you are carrying on a business or pursuing a hobby, sport or recreational activity that does not produce income.
In general, you are considered to carry on a business if the activity:
- has started
- has a significant commercial purpose or character
- has a purpose of profit as well as a prospect of profit
- is carried out in a manner that is characteristic of the industry
- is repeated, regular or continuous
- cannot be more accurately described as a hobby, recreation or sporting activity.
For additional information, see Working out if you are operating a business in Starting your own business. If you are a primary producer, see Taxation Ruling TR 97/11 – Income tax: am I carrying on a business of primary production?
Assets put to a tax-preferred use
Division 250 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 applies to the leasing of assets and other similar arrangements to tax-preferred end users (such as tax-exempt entities and non-residents).
If Division 250 applies to an arrangement, then capital allowance deductions will be denied for the asset and the arrangement will be treated as a deemed loan that is taxed as a financial arrangement on a compounding accruals basis. Division 250 applies to all relevant arrangements where the tax-preferred use of an asset starts on or after 1 July 2007. However, Division 250 does not apply if the use occurs under a legally enforceable arrangement that was entered into before 1 July 2007.
Division 250 also does not apply if you are a small business entity for the income year in which the arrangement period for the tax-preferred use of the asset starts, and you choose to deduct amounts under Subdivision 328-D (capital allowances for small business entities) for the asset for that income year. Division 250 also does not apply to certain relatively short-term and lower-value arrangements.
When you have completed your Business and professional items schedule for individuals 2013, you will need to transfer:
- your Net personal services income (PSI) amount (if any) from A item P1 on your schedule to A item 14 on page 13 of your tax return (supplementary section)
- your Net income or loss from business amounts from Y and Z item P8 on your schedule to B and C (respectively) item 15 on page 14 of your tax return (supplementary section).
Concessions for small business entities
Did you carry on a business at any time during the year and have an aggregated turnover of less than $2 million?
You need to know
Small businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $2 million are called ‘small business entities’ and may qualify for a range of tax concessions.
Eligible businesses can choose to use the concessions that best suit their needs. It is not necessary to elect to be a small business entity each year in order to access the concessions, however businesses must review their eligibility each year.
A small business entity may be eligible for the following concessions:
- CGT 15-year asset exemption
- CGT 50% active asset reduction
- CGT retirement exemption
- CGT small business rollover
- Simplified depreciation rules
- Simplified trading stock rules
- Deducting certain prepaid business expenses immediately
- Accounting for GST on a cash basis
- Annual apportionment of GST input tax credits
- Paying GST by quarterly instalments
- Fringe benefits tax car-parking exemption
- Pay as you go (PAYG) instalments based on gross domestic product (GDP) – adjusted notional tax
You are a small business entity if you are carrying on a business and have an aggregated turnover of less than $2 million.
Aggregated turnover is your annual turnover plus the annual turnovers of any entities that are connected with you or that are your affiliates (adjusted to ignore dealings between connected entities and affiliates). Using aggregated turnover prevents larger businesses from structuring or restructuring their affairs to take advantage of the small business entity concessions.
You must review your eligibility each year.
For more information on the aggregation rules, see What are the aggregation rules? or phone 13 28 66.
Calculating your turnover
Turnover includes all ordinary income earned in the ordinary course of business for the income year. The following are some examples of amounts included and not included in ordinary income of a business:
Table: Calculating your turnover
Include these amounts
- sales of trading stock
- fees for services provided
- interest from business bank accounts
- amounts received to replace something that would have had the character of business income
Do not include these amounts
- GST charged on a transaction
- proceeds from the sale of business assets
- capital gains
- insurance proceeds for the loss or destruction of a business asset
- amounts received from repayments of farm management deposits
There are special rules for calculating your annual turnover if you have retail fuel sales or business dealings with associates.
The business operated for only part of the year
If you carried on a business for only part of the income year, your annual turnover is worked out using a reasonable estimate of what the turnover would have been if you had carried on the business for the whole of the income year. This includes winding up the business.
Satisfying the aggregated turnover threshold
Your business satisfies the $2 million aggregated turnover requirement if you meet one of the following:
- your aggregated turnover for 2011–12 was less than $2 million
- you estimate at the beginning of 2012-13 that your aggregated turnover for the year will be less than $2 million (and your aggregated turnover in 2010–11 or 2011–12 was less than $2 million), or
- your actual aggregated turnover, worked out at the end of 2012–13, was less than $2 million. You rely on this test only if you do not satisfy either of the other two tests above. If you satisfy this test only, you cannot use the GST and PAYG instalments concessions for 2012–13.
For more information about these small business entity concessions, see Small business entity concessions.
Former simplified tax system (STS) taxpayers
Continued use of the STS accounting method
Although the STS has now ceased, you may continue using the STS accounting method for 2012–13 if you:
- were an STS taxpayer continuously from the income year that started before 1 July 2005 and until the end of 2006–07
- used the STS accounting method from 2005–06 to 2011–12, and
- are a small business entity for 2012–13.
If you meet these three requirements, you can continue using the STS accounting method until you choose not to or you are no longer a small business entity.
If you continue to use the STS accounting method, you base the amounts you include at item P8 on the STS accounting method. If your accounting system or financial statements do not reflect the STS accounting method, you may need to make additional reconciliation adjustments at Reconciliation items item P8. If another provision of the income tax law apportions or alters the assessability or deductibility of a particular type of ordinary income or general deduction, the timing rule in the specific provision overrides the received or paid rule under the STS accounting method, for example, double wool clips or prepayment of a business expense for a period greater than 12 months. Because of these specific provisions, you may need to make adjustments at Reconciliation items.
Note: The STS accounting method does not apply to income or deductions that receive specific treatment under income tax law, for example, net capital gains, dividends, depreciation expenses, bad debts and borrowing expenses.
Ceasing use of the STS accounting method
If you have discontinued using the STS accounting method, then business income and expenses that have not been accounted for (because they have not been received or paid) will be accounted for in this year. You may need to make additional reconciliation adjustments at Reconciliation items.
Note: There is also a special rule that applies if you are winding up a business this year that you previously carried on and you were an STS taxpayer in the income year you ceased business. For more information, see Small business entity concessions.