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  • Supporting your small business

    Information you can rely on

    We offer a range of tools and services to help make it easier for you to get your tax and superannuation right. It's part of our commitment to improve your tax and super experience and provide support to help you manage and grow your business, or help you get back on track if you need it.

    On this page:

    Tax time essentials

    Tax time toolkit – small business

    Our Tax Time 2020 toolkit for small business has fact sheets on:

    • home-based business expenses
    • motor vehicle expenses
    • travel expenses
    • using your company's money or assets
    • pausing or permanently closing your business due to COVID-19.

    See also:

    Reporting JobKeeper payments

    JobKeeper payments are taxable and need to be included in tax returns.

    If you’re a sole trader who has received JobKeeper payments, you need to include the payments as business income in your individual tax return.

    If your business is a partnership, trust or company, and you received JobKeeper payments, you don’t need to include it as assessable income in your individual tax return. If your business is a partnership or trust, you will report JobKeeper payments as business income in your partnership or trust tax return. If your business is a company, you will report it as income in your company tax return.

    Your employees won’t need to do anything different as the payments will be included as salary and wages, or an allowance, in the regular income statement, or payment summary, you provide as an employer.

    See also:

    Reporting Cash Flow Boost credits

    You don’t pay tax on Cash Flow Boost credits, as they are non-assessable non-exempt income. How this credit is reported in your return or your financial statements is different depending on your business structure. Talk to a registered tax professional for more information.

    See also:

    Other government payments

    If you’ve received an Australian, state or territory government grant or payment in response to recent natural disasters or COVID-19, you may need to include it in your assessable income. Some payments are exempt from tax. You can check information specific to your government payment, or talk with a registered tax professional, to understand your reporting requirements.

    See also:

    Single Touch Payroll – changes to end-of-financial-year processes

    Most employers should now report their employees' payroll information through Single Touch Payroll (STP). If you're an employer and aren't reporting through STP, you should start straight away.

    Next step:

    Changes to payment summaries

    You no longer need to give your employees payment summaries or lodge a payment summary annual report with us for the information you report and finalise through STP.

    Tell your employees not to expect a payment summary. They can find the information they need in their income statement in ATO online services through myGov, or by contacting their tax agent.

    Finalising STP records

    After the last pay event for the financial year, you need to make a finalisation declaration. You must do this by:

    • 14 July 2020 if you have 20 or more employees
    • 31 July 2020 if you have 19 or fewer employees.

    If you can't make a finalisation declaration by the due date, you'll need to apply for a deferral.

    See also:

    STP exemption extension for closely held payees

    We have extended the exemption for small employers with 19 or fewer employees to report their closely held (related) payees through STP from 1 July 2020 to 1 July 2021. Closely held payees include family members, directors or shareholders of a company, or beneficiaries of a trust.

    Your other (arm's length) employees must be reported through STP on, or before, each payday. You can choose to report your closely held payees sooner if you're ready.

    See also:

    More information

    We have more information to help small businesses, including:

    Going online

    We provide online services to help make it quick and easy for you to manage your tax and super:

    • ATO Online services – sole traders can access ATO Online services on any device to manage activity statements and PAYG instalments, manage accounts, make payment arrangements and more.
    • Business Portal – available to all businesses to prepare and lodge activity statements and annual reports, manage accounts and update registration details.

    To access our Business Portal, you'll need an ABN and myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager.

    ATO app – tax and super on the go

    The ATO app makes it easier for you to conduct your tax and super affairs on the go. It gives you quick access to handy tools and calculators as well as answers to frequently asked questions:

    • Key dates – creates a list of due dates that you can save as reminders in your smartphone or tablet.
    • myDeductions – can be used by sole traders to track business income, expenses, and car trips. At tax time you can upload this information to pre-fill your tax return or email it to your tax agent. Never miss out on claiming a deduction because of a lost or faded receipt again.
    • Small business benchmarks – helps you compare your business's performance against similar businesses in your industry.
    • Voice authentication – used by sole traders to quickly and securely access our online services. Voice authentication is a fast and easy way to confirm your identity when you call us or use the ATO app. All you need to do is to save your voiceprint with us.

    Manage your debts

    We know businesses can occasionally experience cash flow issues. This could mean you don't pay your tax or super obligations on time. You can use the following tools and services to assist manage your debts:

    See also:

    • AccountingExternal Link – Business.gov.au provides 'Managing debt' guides to assist you prevent unpaid debt, as well as know what to do when you haven't been paid or are in debt.

    Tools to help you

    Use our wide range of calculators and tools to help you get your tax and super obligations right. These include:

    See also:

    Learning resources

    Helpful learning resources to assist you with running your business:

    • Small business workshops – in the interest of your wellbeing and in response to the Australian Government’s announcement advising against holding non-essential gatherings, our face-to-face workshops are currently on hold. We will update this information as soon as practicable; in the meantime, you can register for an online webinar.
    • Small business webinars – watch to find out about tax and super obligations and entitlements for your business. Topics include GST, activity statements, income tax deductions, home-based business, record keeping and more.
    • atoTVExternal Link – watch our wide range of videos about tax and super information, watch at a time that best suits you.
    • ATO podcast – Tax inVoice – listen to the latest tax and super information covering a range of topics aimed at helping you meet your obligations.
    • Record keeping for business – find out what you need to know and do to meet the record-keeping requirements for your business.
    • PAYG withholding – find out if you need to register for PAYG withholding, what your withholding obligations are, how much tax to withhold, payment summaries or income statements and more.
    • PAYG instalments – find out if you can voluntarily enter into PAYG instalments and reduce the tax you may need to pay at the end of the year. This may be suitable for you if you think you will make a profit on your business or investment income. Many small businesses automatically enter the PAYG instalment system after they lodge their tax return but it might help you to enter one earlier.
    • Super for employers – everything you need to know about paying super for your workers.
    • Small business showcaseExternal Link – the Fair Work Ombudsman small business showcase provides access to resources on workplace laws and information on topics that are relevant to small business owners no matter what stage your business is at.
    • Business.gov.auExternal Link – offers access to government information, transactions and services, as well as essential information on how to plan, start and run your business.

    Dealing with disasters

    If you have been affected by a recent event, such as COVID-19, or a disaster such as a bushfire, cyclone, flood, storm or drought, don't worry about your tax affairs right away. We will give you time to deal with more immediate problems first and we can help you to sort out your tax affairs later.

    We can:

    • give you extra time to pay your debt or lodge tax forms such as activity statements
    • help you find your lost tax file number (TFN) by using methods to verify your identity, such as your date of birth, address and bank account details
    • re-issue tax returns, activity statements and notices of assessment
    • help you re-construct tax records that are lost or damaged
    • fast track any refunds owed
    • set up a payment plan tailored to your individual circumstances including interest-free period
    • remit penalties or interest charged during the time you have been affected.

    When you're ready to reach out for assistance, phone our Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218.

    If you prefer to speak to us in a language other than English, phone the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50 for help with your call.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can phone our Indigenous Helpline on 13 10 30.

    If you have difficulty hearing or speaking to people who use a phone, you can contact us through the National Relay ServiceExternal Link (NRS).

    You can also talk to your tax or BAS agent who will be able to work with us to provide appropriate support.

    Find out more:

    More help, support and services

    We have further help, support and services for your small business:

    • Small business newsroom – subscribe to our newsroom and get all the latest tax and super news, delivered straight into your email inbox.
    • Live chatExternal Link – use this service to ask about GST, ABN, myGovID, BAS, account enquiries and to update details. Live chat is available from 3.00pm–8.00pm (AEDT) Monday to Friday and 10.00am–2.00pm (AEDT) on Saturday (except public holidays).
    • Contact us for business enquires such as account balances, business registrations, business tax return preparation and BAS.
    • After-hours call back serviceExternal Link – use this service to get help from us at a time that’s convenient for you. Complete the online form to book a time to talk to us from 6.00pm–8.00pm Monday to Thursday (except public holidays).
    • Join the discussion online – Follow us on social media for tips and updates, or check out our peer-to-peer forum ATO Community to find answers or ask questions about tax and super.
    • Registered tax or BAS agentsExternal Link – contact a registered agent to help manage your tax and super affairs.
    • Support – contact us if you are experiencing mental health issues so we can support you with your tax and super commitments.

    Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra.

    Last modified: 29 Jun 2020QC 48675