Guild executive director David Quilty has praised the Turnbull Government’s Enterprise Tax Plan
And the Guild is seeking to retain immediate tax deductibility of asset purchases up to $20,000 beyond the existing deadline, he says.
The plan will deliver immediate and tangible benefits to Australia’s community pharmacies, he writes in this week’s edition of Forefront.
“This tax relief is recognition of the vital role of these small businesses in their communities, employing local staff and meeting the health needs of their patients,” he writes.
“In particular, the cut to the small business tax rate will benefit all pharmacies with turnovers up to $10 million a year. The median community pharmacy turnover is around $3 million a year.
“Many community pharmacies are unincorporated. For these small businesses with turnover up to $5 million, the tax discount on unincorporated business income will be raised from 5% to 8% with a cap of $1,000 per individual. This means unincorporated small businesses will not miss out on the benefits of the small business tax cuts.”
The turnover threshold definition for small businesses will also be raised, from $2 million to $10 million. Mr Quilty says this means more community pharmacies will benefit from several tax and related benefits applying to small business.
This includes simplified depreciation arrangements, including immediate tax deductibility of asset purchases up to $20,000 before 30 June 2017.
Under the current system, the deductibility will revert to $1,000 a year at the start of the 2017-18 financial year.
“However, the Guild is working closely with the Minister for Small Business, Michael McCormack, to have the $20,000 deductibility extended,” Mr Quilty writes.
These tax changes will be welcomed by community pharmacies in a difficult trading environment, he says.
“Currently, pharmacies are facing the triple whammy of heavy discounting, major reductions in PBS medicine prices, and flat prescription volumes.
“While the Government’s tax package is welcome news across the whole small business sector, the Pharmacy Guild is also heartened by the approach the Government and the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, have brought to pharmacy sector issues in recent weeks.
“The Minister’s strong intervention in the codeine MedsASSIST issue was an unambiguous recognition of the important role of community pharmacy in dealing with pain relief and addiction issues.
“Minister Hunt made clear to the Guild’s leadership that he is committed to working in partnership with the Guild to keep MedsASSIST operating in the interest of patient safety – a commitment we acknowledge and welcome.”
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman and former pharmacist Kate Carnell also spoke out recently in support of the tax cut.
“The Federal Government’s foreshadowed company tax cuts for businesses with a turnover of up to $10 million will give 99% of Australian businesses a tax reduction, and will provide a much needed shot in the arm for the sector’s growth prospects, enhancing the ability of small businesses to employ,” she said.