14 Sep 2011
On the eve of the Federal Government’s October Tax Forum, new research from MYOB has found more than two thirds of Aussie business owners (71%) want the Business Activity Statement (BAS) simplified and three quarters (76%) want to have the GST rules reviewed and clarified; while over one third (33%) said that addressing these concerns would impact their voting intentions. The MYOB Business Monitor - GST and BAS Special Report released today also found over a third of business owners (39%) believe the BAS form is difficult to understand with most business owners spending up to 10 hours per month on preparing data to complete a single BAS submission.
The MYOB Business Monitor – GST and BAS Special Report surveyed over 3,900 Australian business owners on their attitudes to a range of economic and tax reform issues of concern to Aussie businesses.
Tim Reed, CEO MYOB, said, “There is a growing frustration among Aussie business owners that their concerns are not being listened to or acted on by the Federal government. Nowhere is this clearer than the fact that despite the SME sector making up more than 96% of Australian businesses, the Treasurer has only invited one small business representative to the Tax Forum in October.”
“Our research also found the majority of Aussie businesses (59%) are tired of being treated like an extended administrative arm of the government and more than half of all business owners indicated they spend more time on compliance reporting now than they did five years ago. It’s clear that the Government isn’t making life easier for the majority of Aussie businesses.”
“Based on these findings, we call on the Federal Government to use the Tax Forum to deliver on the vision of the Henry Tax Review, address the proliferation of red tape and make a firm commitment to actively engage with Aussie SMEs moving forward,” Mr Reed said.
To amplify these concerns, MYOB has set up an online petition for Aussie business owners to send a clear message to the Prime Minister to simplify the BAS and to start introducing legislation that makes business life easier. To sign the petition, business owners can go to www.myob.com.au/petition and follow the prompts.
A disturbing finding from the MYOB Special Report was that only a third of businesses (36%) put aside the GST they owe ahead of time, and 31% don’t plan their cash flow to meet tax obligations at all.
“Cash flow management is critical for an SME’s survival so it really concerns me that nearly a third of business owners don’t put aside GST funds to meet their tax obligations. They risk ATO fines or worse if they suffer an unforeseen downturn in revenue – which is far too common in the current economic climate,” Mr Reed commented.
Other findings from the MYOB Business Monitor – GST and BAS Special Report included:
“We encourage Aussie business owners to log on to www.myob.com.au/petition, sign the petition and show the Government ahead of the October Tax Forum that they need to start prioritising the needs of Aussie SMEs in their policy thinking,” Mr Reed concluded.
Manager - Public Relations, MYOB
02 9089 9068 / M: 0407 450 860 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Established in 1991, MYOB is now Australasia’s largest business management software provider. Its 50+ products and services have been employed by more than one million businesses in Australia and New Zealand. MYOB serves businesses of all ages, types and sizes, delivering solutions that simplify accounting, payroll, client management, websites and much more. With a network of more than 20,000 accountants and other professional partners, it provides the support and tools that help make business life easier. Today, MYOB is extending its solutions online and delivering innovation through cloud computing, enabling clients to make smarter connections with their business partners and customers: http://myob.com.au/smarterconnections.