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Coalition outlines plan to provide small business relief.

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Mr Steven Ciobo MP Shadow Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors, Tourism and the Arts

The Coalition is calling on the Federal Government to provide relief for Australia’s 2.4 million small businesses to help them manage cash flow and maintain employment levels in the current economic environment.

The Shadow Small Business Minister, Steven Ciobo, has called for the Rudd Labor Government to act immediately to introduce flexibility and fairness for small businesses who are revising their PAYG Tax instalments, given the current economic conditions.

“At a time when small businesses are struggling to manage their cash flow, the Rudd Labor Government should immediately adjust the variation penalty levied by the Australian Taxation Office on PAYG instalments,” Mr Ciobo said.

“The Rudd Labor Government must allow small businesses to revise their PAYG instalments without fear of a tax penalty at the end of the financial year. Under this Coalition initiative, the Australian Taxation Office would double the allowed margin for error during the 2008/09 financial year. Under the current rules, if a small business is out by 15 per cent, they face a penalty.

“I have been listening to small businesses who tell me they are doing it tough. They need greater relief in these difficult economic times, which is why the Coalition is calling on the Rudd Labor Government to create greater flexibility.”

Mr Ciobo said these are unique economic circumstances and small businesses need the flexibility to alter their expected tax liabilities, without fear of facing a hefty Tax Office penalty. The Coalition calls on the Rudd Labor Government to double the margin for error to 30 per cent for the 08/09 financial year.

“Given the current economic tumult, now is the time for the Rudd Labor Government to provide the leadership small businesses are crying out for and act to implement this Coalition initiative without delay,” Mr Ciobo said.

“The current penalty unreasonably discourages small businesses from using PAYG revisions to manage their cash flow. PAYG revisions are an important way for small businesses to manage their cash flow, and flexibility and fairness is what small businesses are seeking.

“Small businesses are telling me they are fed up with the Rudd Labor Government’s hollow rhetoric. By adopting this Coalition initiative, the Rudd Government can prove they genuinely support Australia’s 2.4 million small businesses and the 3.8 million Australians they employ.”