The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

10 May 2011


Joint Media Release with
The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Assistant Treasurer
Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation
Senator Nick Sherry
Minister for Small Business

More Help for Australian Small Business

The Gillard Government will provide additional cash flow benefits to millions of Australian small businesses through the tax system, recognising many are doing it tough in our patchwork economy.

The Government will reduce income tax instalments paid under Pay As You Go (PAYG) using the gross domestic product (GDP) adjustment method for one year.

This change will deliver a $700 million cash flow benefit from lower tax payments in 2011-12, mainly to small businesses.

Small businesses - which make up 96 per cent of Australian businesses - are the backbone of our economy - and deserve all the help we can provide.

PAYG instalments in 2011-12 will be set at 4 per cent above a small business's taxable income for the previous year, half the statutory rate that would otherwise have applied. This is a one-year benefit and the statutory rate will apply as normal from 2012-13.

This measure builds on the Government's tax reforms for small businesses to be introduced in 2012-13 that include:

  • an immediate write-off of the first $5,000 on the purchase of any motor vehicle;
  • an immediate write-off of all assets valued at under $5,000 (up from $1,000 presently) estimated to cost $1.7 billion over the forward estimates;
  • a write-off of all other assets (except buildings) in a single depreciation pool at a rate of 30 per cent.  Currently, small businesses allocate assets to two different depreciation pools, with two different depreciation rates (30 per cent and five per cent); and
  • a reduction in the company tax rate to 29 per cent for incorporated small businesses.

The depreciation and PAYG changes will apply to all small businesses, including sole traders and businesses operating through trusts, partnerships and companies. These reforms will make tax simpler for small business, while increasing cash flows so they can reinvest and grow their businesses.

The Government is determined to help the nation's 2.7 million small businesses remain vibrant and competitive, and these measures are an important part of that commitment.

10 May 2011



Who will receive the reduction?

The PAYG instalment reduction applies to taxpayers whose PAYG instalments are adjusted for growth in gross domestic product (GDP adjustment method).

This method bases instalment amounts on the previous year's taxable income, uplifted by a GDP adjustment factor.  This adjustment factor reflects nominal GDP growth over the previous two calendar years and is intended to calculate tax instalments payable based on expected profit growth. 

Taxpayers using this method include those carrying on a small business and those with investment income (e.g. self funded retirees) and wage and salary earners with investment income subject to the PAYG instalment system.

In the main, small businesses, individual investors and small superannuation funds are eligible to pay their instalments quarterly using the GDP adjustment method.  The great majority of eligible taxpayers choose the GDP adjustment method.

How will it apply?

For the 2011-12 income year, the adjustment factor calculated under the tax law will be set at four per cent.

In accordance with the existing law, taxpayers may still vary their quarterly tax instalments if they consider their income is expected to be lower or higher than the amount determined by the Commissioner of Taxation using the four per cent adjustment factor.

This reduction does not apply to taxpayers who calculate their instalments based on the instalment rate notified by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).  Their payments will automatically adjust when they apply the given rate to their actual income for the quarter.

Further information

Further information on this reduction can be obtained by contacting the ATO on 132 866.