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Avoid common mistakes in your business return, and include appropriate income



Avoid common mistakes in your business return, and include appropriate income


We know you want to get your tax right, so it may help you this tax time to know how to avoid making what the ATO has found are the most common tax mistakes.

To do this make sure you have:

It’s important to have good records that are up to date. It can help to have a dedicated business bank account to help keep business transactions separate from your other finances.

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR BUSINESS’S ASSESSABLE INCOME
When calculating your business’s assessable income, include:

CASH INCOME
If your business receives cash payments for goods or services, the ATO will expect you to declare them as assessable income. Included here are:

Note that the ATO’s data matching analysis and forensic capabilities have developed into a very sophisticated toolkit, making cash payments more visible to it than ever before. For example, it can identify people who may be running a part of their normal business activities “off the books” and avoiding tax obligations.

COMMISSIONS, INVESTMENT EARNINGS, GRATUITIES, COMPENSATION PAYMENTS
If you receive commissions, investment earnings (such as dividends), gratuities or compensation payments as part of your business activities, include these amounts as assessable income. These payments include:


INCOME NOT PART OF EVERYDAY BUSINESS ACTIVITIES
Your business may receive income that is not part of your every day business activities. These amounts must also be included in your business’s assessable income at the end of the income year.

These sources of income can include:


GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS
A number of federal, state and territory government grants and payments have been made available to businesses in response to recent natural disasters and COVID-19. Only those grants and payments that are “assessable income” will need to be included.

These payments include:

Note well that you should not include the following grants and payments:


CAPITAL GAINS AND LOSSES
Capital gains or losses can occur when you dispose of a business capital asset by way of sale, gift, transfer, destruction, surrender, or other means. Business capital assets are all assets your business owns.

However, you can only generally make a capital gain or loss on particular assets, such as your business premises, land, goodwill, or rights or licences. You can’t generally make a capital gain or loss on your trading stock. CGT generally doesn’t apply to depreciating assets, such as tools or motor vehicles that you use in your business.

In certain circumstances, the following discounts apply to CGT: