Show download pdf controls
  • Help for small business

    We are committed to making it as easy as possible for all businesses to understand and meet their tax obligations.

    To that end, we have an extensive and dedicated focus on both:

    • delivering new tools to make things easier;
    • providing customised support for small business when they need it.
    1. Using technology to enhance interactions.
      • Sole traders can access ATO online services through their myGov account or voiceprint on any device and:
        • manage activity statements and PAYG instalments;
        • manage accounts;
        • make payment arrangements and more.
      • Businesses with an AUSkey or a linked myGov account (using Manage ABN Connections) can access the Business Portal to:
        • prepare and lodge activity statements and annual reports;
        • manage accounts; and
        • update registration details.
      • Through the ATO app small business owners can:
        • manage tax obligations;
        • set reminders for key dates;
        • keep track of expenses using the myDeductions tool;
        • compare performance against similar businesses with the Business Performance Check.
      • The app - already downloaded by over 1.4 million individuals - includes a range of easy-to-use online tools such as the tax withheld calculator and the ABN Lookup.
      • The ATO is improving access to online services via introduction of voice authentication - over 3 million voice prints have already been registered.
      • The ATO has a small business live chat service and an after-hours call back service available Monday to Saturday.
      • Small business owners can also subscribe to the Small Business Newsroom (2.16 million subscribers) to receive all the latest information and alerts each month – direct to their mobile phone, iPad or home computer.
    2. We support businesses right from the start.
      • Within 30 days of registering for an ABN, new small businesses are proactively sent a welcome email with links to educational modules hosted on Link.
      • Additionally they receive emails linking to 24 key modules on various business topics over the following 12 months.
    3. We are focused on finding ways to reduce the administrative burden on small business.
      • The ATO has significantly simplified quarterly GST reporting requirements, reducing what small businesses need to report in their BAS from seven items down to three.
      • We offer free, confidential and tailored support services aimed at keeping businesses on track, or helping them get back on track.
      • We make regular visits across the community in metro and regional locations to show people tools and tips that help their business.
      • Our staff also received mental health support training because we recognise the enormous pressure small business owners are under when dealing with mental health issues.
      • We are currently working with tax professionals and other intermediaries to implement an educational coaching program called the ‘Cash Flow Coaching Kit’. This kit aims to quickly help small businesses better understand, and easily identify, actions they can take to improve their cash flow and business performance.
      • We regularly engage with small businesses and their representative associations to understand their needs. Our Small Business Stewardship Group connects us with key industry associations and we have close working relationships with COSBOA, ASBFEO and all the state-based Small Business Commissioners and Champions.

    As well as the information, services and tools we provide to assist running a small business, we focus on early engagement and support for small businesses that need help.

    Last modified: 09 Apr 2018QC 55057