Budget targets big and small businesses, but misses the middle

Dan Pollard |

12 May 2015

The 2015 Federal Budget targets tax avoidance at the top end of town - and provides some tax relief for small businesses - but companies that fall in the middle have largely missed out, according to BDO National Tax Director Lance Cunningham.

“This is a budget focused on very big and very small businesses,” Mr Cunningham said.

“Doubling penalties for tax avoidance is in line with the Government's recent hard line on multinational corporations.

“And the Budget's package for small business offers some relief for businesses with turnover under $2 million.

“However the Government's tokenistic concession for unincorporated small businesses of up to $1,000 will offer only slight relief and may add to tax compliance costs.

“What is disappointing is that for the businesses that fall between the top end of town and very small business there is practically nothing in this budget.”

Mr Cunningham said that the Government had promised a boring budget and they have largely delivered.

“The messages from the Government over the last month or so all pointed to a fairly benign budget,” Mr Cunningham said.

“On that front they have certainly delivered – this is a beige budget.

“Nothing announced tonight could be described as particularly bold or surprising.

“While that may ensure kinder headlines than this time last year, it also means that another budget has passed without any meaningful tax reform.

“We know from our annual Tax Reform Survey that the business community believes real tax reform is well overdue.

“Unfortunately this budget has done little more than tinker at the edges.”