Understanding the Basics of Business Taxes

Posted 28 Jan

Understanding the Basics of Business Taxes

Different business structures pay taxes in different ways. Although there are many taxes that a business can be affected by, the main ones are goods and services tax, income tax, pay as you go withholding tax for employees, payroll tax and excise tax.

Other taxes that a business could encounter are fringe benefits, capital gains and other duties and levies administered by state or local governments.

Taxes Paid on the Business Activity Statement

Once your business is registered for the relevant taxes, several are reported and paid as part of the monthly or quarterly activity statement.

  • GST is collected from customers and paid to suppliers, and you pay the difference between GST on sales and purchases.
  • PAYG Withholding for employees or suppliers that don’t provide an Australian Business Number.
  • PAYG Instalments contribute towards an expected income tax bill.
  • Other taxes paid on the BAS (if applicable) are fringe benefits instalments, fuel tax credits, wine equalisation tax and luxury car tax.

Some business taxes are paid directly to the state revenue office, such as land tax for properties and payroll tax once the state threshold of reportable wages is reached. Other common government duties include stamp duty on property transfers.

Income Tax for Businesses

Income tax is calculated after the end of the financial year. Tax deductions for business expenses reduce your taxable income and, therefore, your tax bill. If a financial gain is made on the disposal of assets, such as property or shares, capital gains tax is paid on the amount of financial gain and is paid as part of income tax. Income tax for business is calculated differently according to the type of entity. PAYG instalments already paid during the year will reduce the final tax amount due.

Small Business Tax Concessions

We can make sure you are claiming all the small business tax benefits that you are allowed through concessions that reduce the amount of tax liability. For example, there are specific concessions for asset write-off, primary producers, fringe benefits or start-up expenses. Concessions may also apply in some situations to reduce the amount of capital gains tax payable.

Talk to us about adding or cancelling tax registrations, applicable concessions and planning for the various taxes your business needs to manage. Contact your WDF Professional team member if you would like to discuss further how we can help you. Phone 02 6921 5444 or email

Belinda Kotzur

Client Services Supervisor

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