• 2019.07.18
  • Starting Up a Business in Australia – Part 2
Last time I described the steps as far as getting an Australian Business Number (ABN) and registering a business name. Once you have completed preparations for running your business and you actually start trading and earning income, you will be required to lodge a tax return. You must lodge a tax return in Australia whether you are an individual business owner or an individual employee working for a company. Essentially, everyone who earns an income in Australia must lodge a tax return. Unlike Japan, the financial year in Australia goes from July 1 to June 30 and your return covers income in that year. But just as in Japan, everyone employed by a business is paid wages less income tax at a rate set by the Australian government, but you declare any claimable expenses in your tax return as non-taxable items, and if you have paid too much tax, you get a refund. If, on the contrary, you have not paid enough tax, you have to pay additional tax. In Australia, few companies pay bonuses to their employees, so getting a tax refund is like getting a bit of extra income. I digress, but unlike employees who have tax deducted from every paycheck, individual business owners and companies that haven’t been paying income tax for the year must pay it themselves, and unless they do a rough calculation of their tax and put it aside, they might be faced with a sudden expense and there is the possibility that they will not be able to pay it. Just as you declare your income, you also declare your expenses. Some people lodge their tax return themselves via the Australian government website while others pay a fee to have an accountant lodge it on their behalf. Because I have two incomes, through employment with a company and through my ABN, I don’t do my own tax return but always get a certain accountant to do it for me. At tax return time I bundle together a great pile of receipts and bring them to the accountant. I keep receipts for expenses that just might be deductible and ask the accountant about them as we go, so we end up with a return with as many deductions as possible. If your annual sales are more than $75,000, you have to pay GST (Australia’s 10% goods and services tax) to the government. You pay the GST once every three months, for four periods, July to September, October to December, January to March, and April to June. With GST payment too, you pay the total amount of GST collected when you make a sale, less the total GST you have paid in your expenses. You can lodge and pay via the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website following these steps: you create an account that lets you log in to the website, open the GST declaration page, and enter the various amounts, then it calculates the amount of GST you have to pay, and you pay by BPAY or credit card. If you are unsure of anything, you can call the ATO’s customer service and ask them. There’s a lot to learn and there will be some nerves, but once you have taken the first step, the rest will work out OK. Australia is a land of cheerful, easy going people who are free with their time: it is a land of freedom where such people can start a business. Many Japanese people too set up a business and prosper. Australia began levying the 10% GST on purchases from overseas via the internet in 2018. I guess it is aimed at protecting Australian domestic retail businesses and increasing demand for Australian domestic traders. That said, there is still a larger and wider variety of categories and products among the overseas products on big shopping websites like Amazon and eBay. I really hope some more vitality comes to the Australian domestic business scene.


  • Chieko Suganuma (maiden name : Nagura)
  • JobCompany employee

She moved to Australia in 2000. She worked for a Japanese-affiliated travel agency, and then started her current position at a construction company in 2014.On her days off, she enjoys making soy candles that is a hobby of mine and walking on the beach.She hope to share rare lifestyle information from the local area with you.

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