Legislative amendments to implement a 2015 Budget measure to support small businesses have made their way through Parliament. The legislative amendments will allow a short-term accelerated depreciation write-off up to $20,000 (up from the $1,000 threshold) for assets acquired by small businesses. The increased threshold of $20,000 will apply only to assets first acquired at or after 7.30 pm, legal time in the ACT on 12 May 2015, and first used or installed ready for use on or before 30 June 2017. From 1 July 2017, the threshold will revert to the $1,000 threshold.
The rules around asset eligibility do not change. That is, if an asset was eligible for immediate deductibility under the $1,000 threshold it will continue to be deductible under the new $20,000 threshold.
The ATO has confirmed that both new and old/second-hand assets remain eligible.
If the entity is registered for GST, then the GST exclusive amount is taken to be the cost of the asset. Where the entity is not registered for GST, the GST inclusive amount is taken to be the cost of the asset.
An eligible small business can claim an immediate deduction for any software costing less than $20,000, purchased off the shelf, that is used exclusively in the business. An eligible small business can also claim an immediate deduction for the cost of developing software for use exclusively in its business, where that cost is less than $20,000. An exception applies if the entity has previously chosen to claim deductions for in-house software under the software development pool rules. In this case the costs need to continue to be allocated to that pool.