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In the 2015-16 federal budget, the government increased the small business immediate deductibility threshold from $1,000 to $20,000, which was originally due to end at June 30, 2017.

But a law amendment bill has recently been passed by Parliament that extends that measure by 12 months until June 30, 2018, after which the deductibility threshold will revert to $1,000.

At the time of the original announcement, small businesses were defined as having an aggregate annual turnover of less than $2 million. Announcements from the most recent federal budget however, and the new legislation, make it clear that the depreciation measure will not only be extended for a year but also extend to businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $10 million.

Small businesses can therefore continue to immediately deduct purchases of eligible assets costing less than $20,000 first used or installed ready for use by June 30, 2018. Only a few assets are not eligible (such as horticultural plants and in-house software).

Assets valued at $20,000 or more (which cannot be immediately deducted) can continue to be placed into a small business simplified depreciation pool and depreciated at 15% in the first income year and 30% each income year thereafter. The pool can also be immediately deducted if the balance is less than $20,000 over this period (including existing pools).

The current “lock out” laws for the simplified depreciation rules (these prevent small businesses from re-entering the simplified depreciation regime for five years if they opt out) will continue to be suspended until June 30, 2018.

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