The survey was organised by ShireBiz, a business lobby group dedicated to creating employment in Sutherland Shire and Southern Sydney. Survey responses relate to issues raised in the Federal Government’s tax discussion paper as well as broader questions which focus on state and local government taxes.
The survey was conducted by Stable Research and findings were analysed by Infodec Communications
The survey was also supported by the Sutherland Shire Chambers of Commerce
Survey results Executive Summary
The majority of businesses who responded to the survey operated as proprietary limited companies (65%) followed by trusts (14%), sole traders (12%) and partnerships (10%). 88% of the respondents employed less than 25 people, meaning they could be classified as small businesses.
96% of respondents indicated they were registered for GST in comparison to 4% who were not.
Costs associated with GST reporting have been raised as in impediment to small business. The ShireBiz survey found that nearly 40% of respondents prepared their business activity statement themselves. Changes to GST and/or reporting requirements may assist Sutherland Shire business owners with GST compliance.
The majority of survey respondents indicated that the current tax system did have an effect in determining their choice of business structure, they also believed that the current interaction between the personal and business tax systems added to the complexity over the overall tax system.
Respondents indicated there was a lack of clarity about fringe benefits tax (FBT) with 51% of respondents stating they had little or no knowledge about FBT. There also appeared to be a lack of knowledge about the benefits of the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House.
62% of respondents agreed and strongly agreed that a 15% GST rate should be applied to all goods and services, with corresponding increased distribution to NSW and other states, if state taxes like payroll tax, land tax and stamp duty were reduced or eliminated.
31% of respondents did not believe that industry specific tax exemptions boosted productivity.
73% of respondents indicated that lower tax rates for small business would be effective in boosting innovation and productivity and the majority did not believe that a two tiered tax system for small business and big business would stifle innovation and growth.
Over 70% of respondents believed that a whole of government portal for business would help with the complexities of the current tax system and compliance obligations.
The majority of respondents (80%) also believed that the current tax system was influential in relation to investment, capital gains tax and negative gearing.
90% of respondents believed that church/religious organisation owned properties should pay council rates and nearly 80% felt that GST should be paid on items under $1,000 purchased online outside of Australia.
Survey respondents also provided general suggestions related to the current tax system and these are highlighted at the conclusion of this document.
Click the link below to download the full PDF report