Start-up claims process could change under new plan

SMALL business owners would be able to claim back their start-up expenses immediately under an Abbott Government plan to drop the rule requiring such costs to be written off over five years.

The changes will form part of a wider small business package to be revealed in next week's Federal Budget, which is widely expected to include a small tax cut for the small to medium enterprise sector.

Small Business Minister Bruce Billson said allowing investments in equipment and supplies to be claimed back from the moment a small business was started would help more people invest more quickly in their business.

Other changes included streamlining the business registration process with a single website and allowing owners to change their business structures, such as from a partnership to a single-owner company, without incurring capital gains tax.

Mr Billson said that measure would help cut costs for those looking to change their structures as their businesses grew.

Labor's Bernie Ripoll said the changes would do little more than create a "two-tier tax system" for different businesses, and was concerned the government had not reversed last year's decision to scrap Labor's instant asset write-off measures for small business.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which represents the widest range of businesses, has welcomed the measures.

Chief executive Kate Carnell said the change to write-offs would help people just starting out in business deal with professional costs such as legal and accountants' fees.

The full small business package is expected to be released next week.

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