Despite small business leaders (SBLs) feeling relatively more confident about their business and increasing their spend on business equipment compared to the same time last year, almost three-quarters (73%) still find the tax system confusing and nearly two-in-three (63%) are concerned about the growth or stability of their business beyond the pandemic, new research from Officeworks shows.

To assist in a healthy tax return, almost one-quarter (23%) have increased their year-on-year spending on office supplies, furniture or business assets to take advantage of the government’s depreciation concessions for an increased tax return.

According to the research, SBLs are planning to capitalise on the depreciation concessions available, including the ‘Technology Investment Boost’ in the 2022 federal budget. SBLs indicated they will spend an average of at least $17,000.

One-in-four small business leaders were unaware they could be eligible for the ‘Temporary Full Expensing’ concession to claim immediate deductions on depreciating assets first used or installed before June 30. In addition, more than half (54 per cent) of business leaders incorrectly assumed they could no longer claim the $150,000 ‘Instant Asset Write-Off’ which may be used to claim on items purchased in previous tax seasons.

Officeworks general manager for merchandise, Jim Berndelis said, “When Australians were required to work from home during the pandemic, many employees borrowed equipment from the office. As they have returned to their office in a flexible capacity, we have seen employers updating their office equipment such as ergonomic chairs, monitors and computer accessories. We’re also seeing products such as mobile phones, cables and charging devices continue to be popular to ensure staff can stay connected no matter where they are working.

“As we approach June 30, we recommend small business leaders consult their taxation professional to ensure they are making the most out of the incentives and capitalising on tax deductible upgrades.”

Incentives and savings opportunities are available on technology and office supplies to support staff working remotely as well as in the office, and 74% of SBLs responded that they will support remote work setups regardless of whether they expert staff to return to the office or not. This means there is an opportunity for business leaders to claim more through the comprehensive Temporary Full Expensing concession.