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Australian Treasurer Planning to Expand Access to Instant Asset Write-Off

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced plans to expand access to the instant asset write-off (full expensing). The instant asset write-off was recently expanded to allow businesses with turnover up to AUD 5 billion to deduct the full cost of eligible depreciable assets in the year they are installed. For companies that are part of a group, the turnover limit is determined based on group turnover, which limits access.

In order to expand access to companies that are excluded due to being part of a global group with high turnover, the government is planning to introduce legislation providing for an alternative test to qualify for the instant asset write-off. The test includes that companies could be eligible if they have:

  • Less than AUD 5 billion in total statutory and ordinary income (excluding non-assessable non-exempt income) in either the 2018 19 or 2019 20 income year; and
  • Invested more than AUD 100 million in tangible depreciating assets in the period 2016 17 to 2018 19.

In addition, businesses will be allowed to opt out of temporary full expensing and the backing business investment incentive on an asset by asset basis. This change will provide businesses with more flexibility in respect of these measures, removing a potential disincentive for them to take advantage of these incentives.

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