Everything SME owners need to know about the Federal Budget

On May 14, the Australian government budget was handed down, and there’s a lot to absorb. So, we’re making it simpler by breaking down what small and medium-sized business owners need to know about the latest budget…

First published on Monday, May 20, 2024

Last updated on Wednesday, May 15, 2024

5 min read

In May every year, the Australian Parliament is presented with the federal budget. Among other things, this hefty document maps out what the government will be investing in for a specified period.

Being aware of what’s in the federal budget can help small business owners and employers do their own financial planning, understand what measures are included in the document to boost small business success, and maximise savings come tax time.

Let’s dive into some of the main takeaways for small and medium-sized businesses from the federal budget 2024-25.

Electricity bill relief

You may have already seen that Australian households are set to receive a $300 rebate. But small businesses are getting a boost of their own, with a $325 rebate.

Approximately 1 million businesses are set to receive this deduction in instalments over the next financial year.

Business expenses are difficult to manage at the best of times. Especially if you’re still trying to stay on top of it all manually. Expense tracking software and apps can make this process easier by digitalising the process from end to end.

So, come tax time you can maximise your tax savings with impeccable expense records!

Superannuation on parental leave

As we mentioned in the last HR Heartbeat, superannuation payments will now be made on government-paid parental leave payments.

Research has shown that a contributor to the gender pay gap is the loss of superannuation payments during the period of parental leave. This scheme will take steps to rectify that.

$1.1 billion has been allocated for this purpose.

Asset write-off

The $20,000 instant asset write-off for small businesses that have an annual turnover of less than $10 million has been extended for the next year.

This write-off will cover approximately four million small businesses in Australia and is worth $290 million.

Housing and construction

The budget has committed to supporting another 20,000 people to fund their education in programs related to housing and construction.

People willing to learn clean energy skills will also receive payments of up to $10,000 over the course of their study. This is under the New Energy Apprentice Payment.

It’s clear that this budget is committed to boosting skilled workers in the clean energy and housing and construction industries.

A reminder that the training and development of your staff is an investment for businesses across all industries and sectors. Not only does this boost the job satisfaction and retention of your teams, but it can also help you fill skill gaps and improve your resilience in a labour shortage.

Tax cuts

Starting July 1, tax cuts will begin. This means your employees’ regular pay will have slightly less tax taken out of it before it reaches them.

The new tax brackets mean that:

  • Anyone earning up to $18,200 will pay no tax
  • Those earning up to $45,000 will pay 19% tax
  • Those earning up to $200,000 will pay 30% tax
  • And those earning above $200,000 will pay a 45% tax on every dollar they earn

Remember, if you have more tax questions you want instant answers for, Bright Brainbox gives you jargon-free answers to all your HR questions.

Supporting small business owners’ mental health

Suffice to say, the last few years have brought more than their fair share of challenges. And small business owners and employers have borne the brunt of them all.

The federal budget is investing a further $10.8 million in giving eligible small business owners confidential financial and mental wellbeing support. The program offers half a dozen sessions with a coach.

Plus, the small business debt helpline has been extended to support more business owners struggling with their finances.

Encouragement to innovate

The government has committed over $392 million to the Industry Growth Program to help innovative start-ups and small businesses get off the ground.

Businesses working in government priority areas and working to develop Australia’s future manufacturing capabilities can apply for these grants that range from $50,000 to $5 million—depending on the focus of the project.

Cyber resilience and safety

With several high-profile cyber-attacks hitting the headlines recently, it’s clear the government is taking notice.

Financial support for programs that bolster cybersecurity in small businesses is continuing in this year’s budget. An additional $7.2 million was put towards the Cyber Health Check; an interactive online tool that helps SMEs assess their own cybersecurity maturity.

Make sure your teams are up to date on the best ways to shore up your digital security with regular e-learning courses on cybersecurity best practices.

Need more employment support?

On top of the federal budget, businesses also have to keep an eye on the employment relations changes coming soon.

Lucky for you we’ve compiled a comprehensive look at the upcoming updates in our latest guide, download it here: What’s Changing with Closing Loopholes?

In it, our employment relations advisers unpack the employment laws that are changing in line with the Closing Loopholes laws during the rest of 2024 and beyond.

Want more personalised advice to help you keep up with the changes coming to the Australian business landscape? Call our BrightAdvice employment relation advisers anytime.

If you’re not yet a BrightAdvice customer, find out how you can become one here.

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