At J&T Accountants & Advisors, we generally try to stay away from political commentary – we are accountants, after all! However, a federal election (and particularly one of this year’s magnitude, with a full-Senate election) is a big event in the life of Australia, and will impact directly on business confidence for months to come.

Blog: What do small businesses need to know about the 2016 election?

So, if you’re a small business owner, particularly in Rockhampton or Yeppoon, what do you need to know or find out (apart from the sausage sizzle details) before you roll up to the polling booths on July 2? We’re not providing an opinion either way here, just giving you the resources to make up your own mind.

Who has promised tax cuts?

Tax cuts (or the nicer term, tax reform) are always up for discussion when it comes to an election. If you’re deeply interested in the major parties’ platforms on tax, The Conversation has produced a helpful guide here. If you’ve heard something that sounds like propaganda, the ABC’s FactCheck website usually presents the facts clearly.

The Cliffs’ Notes version of that is:

  • Labor is focusing on reforming negative gearing, as well as changing rules around superannuation (only going forward, not retrospectively).
  • The Coalition has ruled out any negative gearing changes, proposed a different set of superannuation changes, and also planned a tax cut for small businesses (although their definition of ‘small’ is somewhat loose!).

Tax avoidance is also an issue that both parties have commented on – but this is aimed at larger companies who put complex structures in place to avoid paying tax (not legitimate tax minimisation strategies, like the ones we help our clients create)

Who is looking out for small business?

Small business can be impacted by many of the big issues this election – including (but not limited to) the NBN, defining a small business, mental health of small business owners, vocational education reform and even the Road Transport Remuneration Tribunal and other workplace relations matters.

The Council of Small Business Australia has put together this resource on how the election affects small business – well worth a read.

Innovation – what does that even mean?

Innovation is definitely one of the buzzwords of this election – so much that we’ve already written a blog post about it! Apparently small businesses, startups and ‘the ideas boom’ are the future of Australia…whether or not that is actually the case remains to be seen.

 For you and your business, it’s definitely not a bad idea to innovate. Whether or not this equates to grant money or a tax cut depends on the quality of your innovation in the long run.

Most importantly, what have the local candidates promised for Central Queensland?

It’s easy to get caught up in what the major parties are promising in the way of sweeping reforms. However, the truth of the matter is that you vote for a local candidate – and if that candidate can’t get anything done in Canberra for you, then it’s going to be a long four years for small businesses in Rockhampton and Yeppoon.