Improve Support for Small Business

Important changes have been made to further support Small Businesses Operations, Tax and Accounting. Find out how these changes could apply to you.

 Small Business Fix-It Squads:

 The ATO wants to better understand the difficulties small business owners face so they can address these issues to make it easier for small business owners to run their business. One way they are doing this is through running ‘Small business fix-it squads’.

‘Small business fix-it squads’ are rapid-design projects where small business owners, tax professionals, government agency representatives and intermediaries work together to examine a problem from the small business perspective. The squad then develops recommendations to fix the problem.

Membership for a particular squad depends on the problem that needs solving. Suitable members are chosen to assist with finding solutions.

If you have a tax-related problem affecting your business, you can email the ATO and they may set up a squad to come up with a solution.

Chat to your tax adviser if you have tax-related problems firstly as they too may be able to come up with an appropriate solution. 

If you are interested in helping the ATO improve its interaction with small businesses, you may be able to join the ATO’s small business consultation panel. To find out more, you can visit the ATO website.


  • Making GST Reporting easier for Small Businesses

 The ATO is consulting with Small Business Owners and Tax Professionals on how to reduce the costs of GST reporting for businesses with a turnover of less than $2 million.

This includes:

  • Simplifying Account Set Up
  • Record Keeping
  • Business Activity Statement (BAS) preparation by removing unnecessary GST labels on BAS


They have begun to test out proposed solutions with a number of stakeholders including Agents, Small Business Industry Associations and Software Developers.

Stay updated on this issue through future editions of MAS Tax Business News.

  • Simplified GST Accounting Methods for Food Retailers

If you are a Small Food Retailer, you most probably buy and sell products that are subject to GST as well as products that are GST-free. Others buy products that are subject to GST and are GST-free and sell only products that are subject to GST.  As such, it can become quite complicated to accurately record your sales that are subject to GST and others that are not, making accounting for GST complicated.

The ATO introduced the Simplified Accounting Method for GST purposes (SAM) to make it easier for business owners to account for GST. These methods help business owners to work out the amount of GST they are liable for in each tax period.

There are five methods to choose from, so you need to decide which one is best for your business. Though prices must be set according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC’s) guidelines.

The ATO has developed a guide to assist business owners with accounting for GST which can be accessed on the ATO website. However, to ensure you get it right, it would be best to speak to your tax adviser to ensure you have the right systems in place for tracking, and meeting, your business’ GST obligations.

Supporting Small Businesses to implement SuperStream

SuperStream is continuing to be rolled out for Small Businesses. As such, the ATO has been looking for ways to assist small businesses which may need support or assistance to implement SuperStream.

The ATO recently launched an intensive communication program, delivering practical help and information via email and SMS to registered businesses across 22 industries. They have also contacted the relevant industry associations, publishing editorial and social media and hosting dedicated SuperStream online information sessions (webinars).

Specific Industry segment information can be found here. Some of the segments for which there is specific information are:

  • Pharmacy and cosmetics
  • General Practitioners, Dentists and Specialists
  • Cafes and Restaurants, Catering & Take-away
  • Fruit, Veg & Floristry
  • Farming (livestock and crops)
  • Hairdressing and Beauty Services
  • Trades
  • Automotive & Repair
  • Engineering & Technical Services
  • Bus & Taxi
  • Road Freight
  • Consulting (Management & IT)
  • Banking & Finance / Insurance & Super
  • Accommodation, Pubs & Clubs
  • Food & Grocery
  • Manufacturing – general
  • Building & Employment Services
  • Metals & Engineering
  • Other specialist & boutique
  • Accounting & Legal
  • Hospitals, Clinics, Aged Care, Accommodation & Allied
  • Education & Training

The ATO has also developed a checklist for employers which can be accessed on the ATO website.

For more information about how these changes could apply to you please contact us below

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