Depreciation is a fundamental concept in accounting and taxation that allows businesses to allocate the cost of assets over their useful lives. This practice not only helps in spreading out expenses but also impacts taxable income, reducing the tax burden for businesses. Let’s delve into the essentials of depreciation, its significance, and how it applies to small businesses.

What is Depreciation?

Depreciation refers to the systematic allocation of the cost of tangible assets, such as equipment, machinery, office furniture, and vehicles, over their estimated useful lives. Unlike expenses incurred immediately, such as office supplies or utilities, the cost of these assets is capitalized and expensed gradually over time.

Great, got it. But why does it matter?

  • Impact on Profitability and Taxes: Depreciation is treated as an expense on the income statement, reducing the reported profit. In other words, it’s like listing an expense on a business’s report card that shows how much money it made. When the business says it made less money because of depreciation, it doesn’t have to pay as much tax to the government.
  • Compliance with Tax Regulations: For tax purposes in Australia, assets costing more than $1,000 typically need to be depreciated. The rule about deducting costs immediately has changed over time, but recently, businesses can fully depreciate assets in the year they’re bought, depending on conditions. Proposed laws might raise this limit to $20,000, which would help small businesses handle cash flow and asset investments better.
  • Access to Depreciation Pools: Small businesses can leverage tax depreciation pools, where assets are grouped into a General Pool and depreciated at a fixed rate annually. Currently set at 30% per year, this method provides a straightforward approach for businesses to calculate depreciation expenses and manage their financial reporting effectively.

Depreciation plays a pivotal role in financial management for businesses of all sizes, particularly small businesses aiming to optimise tax benefits and manage cash flow efficiently. For more insights on how it can benefit your business or to discuss your specific financial needs, feel free to reach out to us on 0417 859 700 or email us at