One of the devices that the government has used over the last few years to help small business is the instant asset write-off scheme.
For this financial year, it means that you can buy an asset for your small business of up to $30,000 before GST and claim an instant deduction on the amount of tax your company has to pay.
Do you get a $30,000 tax refund? Ah, no. Sorry, it’s not quite that easy! You are able to reduce the amount of tax you’re liable for, though, so if your business is structured as a company, you can claim up to 27.5 per cent (the current company tax rate). It still means that you’ll get a pretty good deal on a work car.
And that part about it being a work car is actually really important, too. If you buy a new van for your café, for example, but you then use it on the weekends to go surfing, then you can only claim the write-off on the business use proportion (say 80 percent). You can log your use through various apps to prove usage.
If you do decide it’s worth tipping in the money, note that the vehicle needs to be ready to use before the end of the financial year in which it was purchased; no pre-ordering this month for pick-up at Christmas!
As always, it’s not a bargain if you can’t afford it, and make sure you check things out with your accountant first.
Here are five examples of cars that you could buy underneath the instant asset write-off scheme. Remember, it has to total less than $30,000, so something that is $29,990 plus on-roads won’t be covered.
Honda Jazz 1.5 VTi (man) $14,990 plus on-road costs
It's also the cheapest Honda by a country mile.
Ideal for: document courier, florist, food delivery
Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo wagon (auto) $25,140 (plus ORCs)
If you have small items to tote but you need to do it in a little bit of style, the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo wagon might be your double espresso. It has well thought-out storage options, a frugal 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, and a dual-clutch gearbox… and you can even manage to option in keyless entry and adaptive cruise control for less than $30k driveaway.
As well, Skoda is running out the last of the larger (though not as cute) Rapid Spaceback hatches for $24,990 driveaway.
Ideal for: architects, café owners, web designers
Holden Astra Sportwagon LS+ (auto) $25,740 (plus ORCs)
The mid-sized Astra wagon has been culled from the Holden line-up, so you might be even able to grab a better price than the one listed. It offers a very decent 1600-litre cargo space, a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine and a six-speed auto.
Autonomous emergency braking, powered tailgate and keyless entry/ignition is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, lane keep assist, a reversing camera and forward collision alert.
Ideal for: couriers, pet store owners
Mitsubishi ASX ES ADAS (auto) $26,990 (plus ORCs)
The never-say-die Mitsubishi ASX presents well for a small SUV, has virtually bulletproof mechanicals and what it lacks in ultimate style and substance, it compensates by providing idiot-proof motoring for a variety of tasks.
The ES ADAC is the cheapest variant with an auto gearbox, so it’s possible to go even cheaper if you want to swap cogs by yourself.
Ideal for: service providers, care workers
Renault Kangoo $23,990 (petrol, man) (plus ORCs)
The Renault Kangoo is small, practical, frugal and fun to drive, and it crosses the divide between passenger-style car and full-blown delivery van with ease.
It combines a large, easy-to-access load space with passenger car civilities like side airbags, reversing sensors and a multimedia system.
The 1.2-litre petrol-powered version is cheap as cheaps, as well, coming in well under the $30,000 instant asset write-down cap for 2019.
Ideal for: courier firms, light industrial businesses
LDV G10 van (petrol, man) $25,990, diesel $29,990 (driveaway)
If you need more space, the Chinese-built LDV G10 is as cheap as it gets for a light commercial van. It’ll swallow two standard pallets, comes with the basics like air-con, emergency brake assist, hardboard internal lining and decent load shackling points.
To get under the $30,000 threshold, you’re stuck with a manual gearbox, but there’s nothing else that will take this much cargo for so little money.
Ideal for: courier companies, engineering firms, furniture stores
Mitsubishi Triton 2.4 GLX single cab (petrol, man) $22,490
The Triton single cab-chassis 4x2 is a sturdy little workhorse that’s well equipped with the basics like twin airbags and stability control.
Obviously, you have to factor in the cost of a tray if this is your first cab-chassis, but it’s still easy to come in under the magic $30k mark.
Ideal for: lawnmowing services, construction site workers