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The Government is continuing to tighten the eligibility rules for claiming tax concessions relating to small business capital gains tax (CGT) obligations.
If you qualify, these concessions can have a big impact on how much of the profit from the sale of a business asset you get to keep, and how much goes to the tax man.
Selling an income-producing asset such as property, business equipment or shares at a profit, will create an assessable capital gain. This capital gain is then used to calculate your CGT obligation, which forms part of your annual income tax bill.
Business owners are permitted to use several tax concessions to reduce CGT, but the eligibility rules can be tricky to navigate.
A new tax determination (TD 2021/2) has further tightened them by clarifying that companies carrying on a business whose only activity is renting out an investment property are not eligible to claim the CGT concessions when the property is sold.
The four small business CGT concessions are in addition to the normal 50 per cent general discount on CGT when you have owned an asset for more than 12 months.
Generally, the concessions apply to any asset your business owns and eventually sells at a profit, provided your annual turnover is under $2 million.
The four small business CGT concessions are:
If your business turnover is over $2 million but under $10 million, you may be able to use the small business restructure rollover concession. This permits the transfer of active assets – including CGT assets, trading stock and depreciating assets – from one business entity to another without incurring an income tax liability.
You can apply for as many of the four special CGT concessions as you are entitled to. In some situations, this can reduce your capital gain to zero. Before applying, you need to meet the basic eligibility conditions for the CGT concessions.
Put simply, you must satisfy four basic conditions applying to all the concessions and then check if you meet the additional eligibility rules applying to each CGT concession.
The first condition requires you to be either a small business entity (SBE) with an aggregated turnover of less than $2 million; not carrying on a business but have a ‘passively-held asset’ used in the business as a connected entity; a partner in an SBE partnership; or satisfy the maximum net asset value ($6 million) test.
In addition, the business asset you are disposing of must satisfy the active asset test. If the asset is a share in a company or an interest in a trust, it must meet additional conditions.
The final step covers assets related to membership interests in a partnership. Each step must be considered in the set order before moving to the eligibility criteria for the individual concessions.
If you plan to take advantage of these concessions, ensure you check the qualifying requirements carefully – or speak to us – as the process is quite complex.
If you would like more information about the tax implications surrounding the disposal of your business assets, call us today.