Carnell puts case on payment times and write offs

Reform needed on both, small business ombudsman tells inquiry

Carnell puts case on payment times and write offs
Kate Carnell


Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell has called for a higher instant asset write-off threshold and backed impending payment times reforms at a public hearing in Canberra.

Carnell raises these and other issues when appearing before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics during its ‘Inquiry into impediments to business investment’.

She wants the instant asset write-off in legislation and raising the threshold to at least $100,000, noting that the $20,000 limit is inadequate for small businesses reliant on expensive equipment. 

Along with other voices, such as the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), which has already entered a submission touching on it, Carnell is a strong advocate for action against payment delays, especially by larger firms at the expense of smaller ones.

Read what the ATA tells the investment inquiry here

"We welcome the government’s commitment to mandate 20-calendar-day payment terms by July 2019 for contracts up to $1 million, and recommend legislation be introduced for 30 day or less payment terms for all small business to business transactions," she says in a statement before the hearing.

"We also want legislation around the disclosure of payment times and performance by businesses. This increased transparency would have the potential to increase accountability by larger businesses."

Carnell is also keen on government support for small businesses looking to upgrade IT, for instance the single touch payroll system to be introduced to small businesses with 19 or less employees on 1 July 1, that will be a burden for many.

She is a fan of the concept of joined-up government as a red-tape reform response.

"The Easy to do Business project in Parramatta is a perfect example of red tape reduction," Carnell says.

"New businesses fill out one form using an online system that distributes relevant information to local, state and Commonwealth agencies, to create the business and licence its operations.

"In our Barriers to Investment research report, we recommended this approach be replicated by other states and territories across traditional industry sectors."


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