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Allowable Tax Deductions Checklist for Small Business Owners

Bottrell Accountants | Newcastle Accounting Firm | Maitland Accountants

Navigating tax obligations efficiently is pivotal for small business owners. Bottrell Accountants & Taxation is dedicated to assisting Australian small businesses in maximizing their allowable tax deductions while ensuring compliance with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) regulations. This expanded checklist includes a broader range of deductible expenses, providing a more comprehensive guide for optimizing your tax position.

Operating Expenses

  1. Advertising and Marketing: Costs associated with promoting your business, including online advertising, print media, and branding materials.
  2. Business Travel: Expenses incurred from travel directly related to the operation of your business, including transportation, accommodation, and meals.
  3. Vehicle Expenses: Costs associated with business use of vehicles, calculated either by the logbook method or the cents per kilometre method.
  4. Rent and Lease Payments: Rent for business premises, equipment leases, and vehicle leasing costs, provided they are used for business purposes.
  5. Utilities: Electricity, gas, water, and phone bills for your business premises. If working from home, a portion may be deductible based on business use.
  6. Salaries and Wages: Payments to employees, including salaries, wages, bonuses, and certain fringe benefits.
  7. Superannuation Contributions: Employer contributions to superannuation funds for employees, up to the mandated cap.
  8. Repairs, Maintenance, and Replacement: Costs for repairing, maintaining, or replacing business assets or property.
  9. Insurance Premiums: Business insurance premiums, including public liability, professional indemnity, and workers’ compensation.
  10. Bank Charges and Interest: Interest on business loans and bank charges related to business accounts.
  11. Education and Training: Costs for education and training that improve the skills and knowledge required for your business.
  12. Home Office Expenses: If you work from home, a portion of home office costs, such as rent, mortgage interest, and utilities, based on the area used for business.
  13. Depreciation: Depreciation on business assets like computers, furniture, and machinery, calculated using ATO guidelines.
  14. Professional Services: Fees for professional advice from accountants, lawyers, and consultants directly related to your business operations.

Inventory and Cost of Goods Sold

  1. Inventory Purchases: Cost of purchasing stock for resale, including freight and delivery charges.
  2. Direct Costs: Direct costs associated with the production of goods or services, such as raw materials and direct labour.

Miscellaneous Deductions

  1. Research and Development: Expenditure on eligible research and development activities can be claimed under specific R&D tax incentives.
  2. Donations: Charitable donations or gifts to deductible gift recipients, provided they are not providing a direct benefit to your business.
  3. Bad Debts: Debts that are genuinely unrecoverable and written off in the same income year they are declared bad.
  4. Tax Management Expenses: Costs incurred in managing your tax affairs, including preparation of tax returns and audit fees.

Expanded Operating Expenses

  1. Staff Training and Development: Costs related to training employees for skills directly related to your business, including workshops, courses, and seminars.
  2. Subscriptions and Memberships: Fees for business-related subscriptions, industry associations, or memberships that are relevant to your business operations.
  3. Business Software and Subscriptions: Costs associated with purchasing or subscribing to software used in business operations, including accounting, CRM, and project management tools.
  4. Protective Clothing and Uniforms: Expenses for protective gear, uniforms, or specific clothing required for your business, including laundry and maintenance costs.
  5. Website and E-commerce Costs: Expenses related to the design, maintenance, hosting, and content creation for your business website and e-commerce platforms.
  6. Legal Expenses: Legal fees related to business operations, including contract preparation, dispute resolution, and intellectual property registration.
  7. Environmental Sustainability Improvements: Expenses incurred in making environmental sustainability improvements to your business operations.

Capital Expenses and Investments

  1. Business Start-Up Costs: Certain start-up expenses, such as preliminary market research, business plan development, and professional advisory fees.
  2. Capital Works Deductions: Deductions for structural improvements, building construction costs, and alterations to business premises.
  3. Business Asset Purchases: Immediate deductions or depreciation for assets purchased for your business, subject to ATO thresholds and rules.

Miscellaneous Deductions

  1. Work-Related Travel: Expenses for work-related travel, including international travel, if directly related to your business operations.
  2. Entertainment and Hospitality: Certain entertainment expenses that are directly related to the production of assessable income.
  3. Moving Expenses: Costs associated with relocating your business, including transportation of equipment and setup costs at the new location.
  4. Business Loan Expenses: Loan establishment fees, mortgage discharge expenses, and early exit fees for loans used for business purposes.
  5. Foreign Exchange Losses: Realised losses due to foreign exchange rate fluctuations on business transactions.
  6. Tax-Related Expenses: Costs incurred in obtaining tax advice, tax planning services, and attending tax-related seminars or workshops.
  7. Intellectual Property Costs: Expenses related to acquiring, registering, or maintaining patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights.
  8. Business Interruption Insurance: Premiums for insurance policies that cover the loss of income your business might suffer due to interruptions.
  9. Disaster Recovery Expenses: Costs incurred for recovery and repairs in the aftermath of a disaster that affects your business operations.
  10. Business Exit Expenses: Legal, consulting, and brokerage fees associated with the sale or closure of your business.


Effectively managing tax deductions can significantly reduce your taxable income and improve your business’s bottom line. This expanded checklist from Bottrell Accountants & Taxation is designed to assist Australian small business owners in identifying a broader range of deductible expenses, ensuring a thorough approach to tax planning. It’s crucial to maintain accurate records and receipts for all claimed expenses, as the ATO may require evidence to substantiate these deductions. Engaging with a professional accountant can provide valuable insights, ensuring that your business takes full advantage of all allowable deductions while remaining compliant with ATO regulations.

Bottrell Accountants & Financial Advisors

Established in June 2012 by Director Gavin Bottrell, our firm provides comprehensive advisory services spanning Personal Tax Returns, Accounting, SMSF, and Business Consulting. Catering to a diverse clientele from small enterprises to large corporations, as well as individual clients throughout Australia, we are dedicated to facilitating business expansion and financial prosperity.

Why Bottrell Accountants & Tax Agents?

At Bottrell Accountants & Tax Agents, our commitment to providing personalised, expert service is unwavering. Whether you’re a small business owner, property investor, or looking to manage your superannuation effectively, our team is equipped with the expertise and dedication to support your financial journey.

Our holistic approach ensures that every aspect of your financial life, from business operations to personal investments and superannuation, is managed with professionalism, precision, and a forward-thinking strategy. Contact us to explore how our services can be tailored to meet your unique needs, ensuring your financial well-being and success.

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