This 2013 budget has really focused on reforms that affect individuals, as well as tax hits on large, multinational companies – so where does that leave you, the SME owner? Well, there aren’t too many changes that you’ll need to worry about, however if you were expecting any tax cuts then you’ll be disappointed. Below are a few of the major changes that could impact you as the owner of a small business.

Do you have foreign employees?

The budget 2013 has allocated $3.4 million over the next four years to monitor and enforce compliance with 457 visa conditions. As such, there will be a crack down on small businesses to make sure they are in compliance with these regulations, so be certain that your business is covered in this regard. From 1 July 2013, anyone wishing to apply for a 457 Visa will be charged with an application fee of $900, so if there are any foreign people you’re looking to employ, make sure they do so in the coming weeks.

Are you an entrepreneur or is your business innovative?

Last night the Government announced that it’s now investing $378.6 million to encourage private sector investment in entrepreneurial SMEs. As a means of stimulating this investment, the government will:

•   improve tax arrangements to encourage investors to support Australian businesses,

•   launch a new program to assist SMEs bid for public sector work,

•   provide $350.0 million for a new round of the Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) program to stimulate venture capital investment

•   promote success stories in the Australian innovation system.

Do you have apprentices?

As part of the 2013 budget the Government has allocated money to assist individual industries and larger employers to develop training programs tailored to their needs that utilise more flexible combinations of on and off the job training than is currently available through traditional apprenticeships. They aim to do this by:

•   Providing up to $50.6m under a competitive grants process, to peak industry bodies and large employers to develop and trial innovative approaches to training for approximately 4,000 apprentices over 4 years.

•   An additional $2,000 per apprentice will be available for employers to encourage their participation in the program.

•   Establishing an Alternative Pathways Program to support the development and trial of flexible training pathways for apprentices in high demand industries experiencing skills shortages.

Not online?

Small business owners will also have potential to access $7.2 million worth of funding over three years to improve the capacity of their companies to engage in the digital economy and take advantage of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Do you have an annual turnover of more than $20 mil?

The Government will extend the requirement to make monthly PAYG income tax instalments to include all large entities in the PAYG instalment system, including trusts, superannuation funds, sole traders and large investors.

The Government has already announced that

•   corporate tax entities with turnover of more than $1bn will move to monthly PAYG instalments from 1 January 2014;

•   corporate tax entities with turnover of $100m or more will move to monthly PAYG instalments from 1 January 2015; and

•   corporate tax entities with turnover of $20m or more will move to monthly PAYG instalments from 1 January 2016.

There have been many changes made in the 2013 budget; unfortunately not many of them are benefiting small business as much as we’d all like to see. If you have any questions about how the 2013 budget could affect your small business, or for any other accounting advice, please contact the experienced team of accountants and tax agents here at The Quinn Group by submitting an online enquiry or calling us on 1300 QUINNS (784 667) or on +61 2 9223 9166.