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Small business habits

Simple habits – like using digital tools, getting advice and keeping good records – help your business to stay on track.

Last updated 28 July 2022

Benefits of good business habits

Digital tools can help you streamline processes, spend less time on administration and concentrate on areas that will improve your cash flow position.

Keeping good records ensures you have the right information to meet your obligations, avoid mistakes, and better assess the financial health of your business.

Getting advice from trusted sources means you can focus on your core business.

Findings from our small business random enquiry program show that most small businesses are trying to report correctly, but sometimes make mistakes.

Developing good business habits helps you:

  • correctly report all the business income you receive in your tax return
  • know which expenses you're entitled to claim, and correctly allocate business and private expenses
  • lodge your business activity statements (BAS) online
  • know what you need to record and report for tax incentives or government stimulus payments your business receives
  • understand the tax implications of taking money out of your business for your own use
  • manage your tax and super obligations and prove your claims.

Using digital tools to run your business

Using digital tools can increase the efficiency of your systems, products and services.

Digital tools can help:

  • track and streamline processes
  • manage customer data and employee records
  • reduce overhead costs
  • support business growth
  • easily assess your financial position
  • apply for COVID stimulus payments.

While some digital tools have an upfront or ongoing cost, there are low-cost options available, and some costs can be claimed as a tax deduction.

Learn more at:

Claiming a tax deduction for digital product expenses for your business

You can generally claim a tax deduction for the cost of digital products used in running your business.

You may be able to claim the cost as a general business deduction or as a depreciation deduction.

Expenses you can claim

You can only claim a deduction for the business portion of your expenses. Digital product expenses you can claim include:

  • the cost of hardware and software that you buy outright
  • lease or subscription fees
  • the cost of cloud storage, file-sharing services, internet service provider fees and running a commercial website (for example, site maintenance and content updates).

Depreciation incentives

There are a range of temporary incentives which allow eligible businesses an immediate deduction for depreciating assets:

Record keeping for business

Keeping accurate and complete records will help your business's viability and meet your obligations.

We have a range of tools to help you:

Getting the right advice

Stay in touch with trusted sources of advice, expertise and support to help your business navigate change and uncertainty.

The ATO and your trusted tax practitioner can help your business meet its tax and super obligations. See:

There are also organisations that provide information and services:

Tools to help you

Use our range of online tools to help you get your tax and super obligations right:

Learning resources

See our range of learning resources to help you develop the right habits for running your business:

  • Small business webinars – such as GST, activity statements, income tax deductions, home-based business, record keeping and more
  • atoTVExternal Link – a wide range of short videos about tax and super
  • ATO podcast - Tax inVoice – listen to the latest tax and super information
  • PAYG withholding – find out if you need to register for PAYG withholding, what your withholding obligations are, how much tax to withhold, and more
  • PAYG instalments – find out if you can voluntarily enter PAYG instalments and reduce the tax you may need to pay at the end of the year
  • Super for employers – everything you need to know about paying super for your workers
  • Cash Flow Coaching Kit – talk to your tax or business adviser about developing sustainable cash flow strategies using the digital Cash Flow Coaching Kit
  • Small business showcaseExternal Link – resources on workplace laws and information for small business owners
  • Business.gov.auExternal Link – the government's one-stop shop, including how to plan, start and run your business, and support for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

More help, support and services

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

  • Small business newsroom – subscribe to get the latest tax and super news, delivered straight into your email inbox
  • Contact us – for enquiries such as account balances, business registrations, business tax preparation and BAS, from 8:00 am and 6:00 pm Monday to Friday local time (except public holidays).
  • Support for small business – for small businesses experiencing stress.

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