COVID-19 Stimulus: Increased Instant Write-off Threshold for Business Assets

The depreciating asset instant asset write-off threshold is being increased from $30,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million) to $150,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million) until 30 June 2020.

The measure applies to both new and second-hand assets first used or installed ready for use in the period beginning 12 March 2020 (the date on which this measure was announced) and ending 30 June 2020.
These measures will apply to apply to Small Business Entities and Medium Business Entities, as follows:

(a) Small Business Entities (SBEs) (turnover of less than $10 million). SBEs will be able to claim an immediate deduction for depreciating assets that cost less than $150,000, provided the relevant asset is installed ready for use on or after 12 March 2020, but before 1 July 2020.

Additionally, SBEs will also be able to claim an immediate deduction for the following:
• An amount included in the second element of the cost of (an improvement to) a depreciating asset that was first used or installed ready for use in a previous income year. The amount of the second element cost must be less than $150,000 and the cost incurred on or after 12 March 2020, but before 1 July 2020.

• If the balance of an entity’s general small business pool (before current year depreciation) is less than $150,000 at the end of the 2020 income year, the SBE can claim a deduction for the entire balance of the pool.

(b) Medium Business Entities (MBEs) (turnover of at least $10 million and less than $500 million).

MBEs can immediately deduct the cost of an asset in an income year if the asset has a cost of less than $150,000 and it was first used or installed ready for use for a taxable purpose in the period beginning 12 March 2020 and ending 30 June 2020.

Additionally, MBEs can also claim a deduction for certain amounts included in the second element of the cost of a depreciating asset, where the amount of the second element cost is less than $150,000, and is incurred on or after 12 March 2020 but before 1 July 2020.

As with the current instant asset write-off concession, the threshold will generally be applied to the GST-exclusive cost of an eligible asset.

Importantly, this increased threshold also continues to operate on a ‘per asset’ basis, which means that eligible businesses can immediately write-off multiple assets (as long as each of the assets individually satisfy the relevant eligibility criteria).

Currently, the instant asset write-off threshold is due to revert to $1,000 for small businesses (i.e., those with an aggregated turnover of less than $10 million) from 1 July 2020.