Tax office urged to revise hire purchase rules

ATO asked to revisit hire purchase arrangements due to claim small business owners are not aware of it

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been asked to revisit hire purchase arrangements under the Small Business and General Business Tax Break due to claim small business owners and trucking operators are not aware of it.

Australian Trucking Association Chief Executive Stuart St Clair says the rule in question is not set out in any of the Federal Government’s media announcements or part of the Bill which was introduced into parliament.

"Many businesses, including trucking businesses, placed order contracts with their suppliers in the genuine belief they would be able to claim the 30 percent tax break based on the date of their order contract," St Clair says.

"The ATO’s sudden announcement of the special hire purchase rule, just ten working days before the cut off date, has caused them great difficulties."

In a letter to the ATO, St Clair also recommended what could be done to ensure trucking operators continue to benefit from the scheme.

"I ask that you[ the tax office] revisit the ATO’s interpretation of the investment commitment time rule for hire purchase arrangements, but only as it applies to businesses who have entered into order contracts on or before June 30 2009," he says.

"The special hire purchase rule could remain in place for businesses seeking to claim the 10 percent tax break and small businesses seeking to claim the 50 percent tax break."

The reductions for the 10 and 50 percent tax breaks is December 31, which St Clair says is far away enough for businesses to enter into hire purchase arrangements or seek alternative funding.

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