“If you’re not on the internet, you don’t exist”
Susanne Gervay, Head of SCBWI (Australia East and New Zealand)
If you're an Australian author planning to buy an author website before June 30, 2018, or have bought one this financial year (July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018), then you'll likely be able to claim a tax deduction for the full cost of the website, as well as ongoing fees for maintaining it, such as the cost of your domain name and hosting.
In this article, I go over the eligibility requirements for claiming the deduction, and what exactly you can claim.
These days being an author is being a business
Promotion of a book is partially handled by the publisher, but the promotion of the author is the sole responsibility of the author – strategically, practically and financially.
And the most powerful tool you’ll have to promote your business is a website.
With June 30 fast approaching, it’s that time of year again, the end of the financial year and the dreaded tax return.
But with current generous Australian tax laws in place, you can now get an immediate tax deduction for the entire cost buying an author website, or for the ongoing maintenance.
Here are some things to remember about claiming website costs so you don’t miss out.
Are you considered a small business in Australia?
- Turnover less than $10 million
The Australian Taxation Office says you’re a small business if you turnover less than $10 million per year. Sound like you?
- Have an ABN
To claim the costs you just need to have an Australian Business Number (ABN) for your author business.
What website costs can you claim as a small business?
Cost of the setup of the website
As a small business in the eyes of the ATO, you can choose to use the simplified depreciation rules.
The ATO caps the instant asset write-off threshold at $20,000. But lucky for you our collections of author websites don’t cost anywhere near that, and start from $495.
This mean you can claim a deduction for the full amount of a website in the year you purchase it.
Ongoing running and maintenance costs
You can also claim an outright deduction for some ongoing expenses associated with running and maintaining your website.
This covers is any cost associated with the continuous running and maintaining your website, such as costs for:
- domain name registration,
- website hosting,
- website backup,
- email spam filters, or
- content or design fixes.
The key here is the maintenance not upgrades.
More detail on the Instant asset write-off laws
The $20,000 instant asset write-off threshold allows small businesses to claim an immediate deduction for assets they start to use – or have installed ready for use – provided each depreciable asset costs less than $20,000. This will temporarily replace the previous instant asset write-off threshold of $1,000.
ATO Video: Business deductions - Tax basics for small business
This 3 minute video from the ATO explains what you can and can’t claim as a small business.
There’s no time like the present (current financial year)
The instant asset write-off law has been in place since 12 May 2015, but it may only be valid until June 30, 2018 (the end of this financial year).
After that date, the threshold may be reduced to just $1,000 😮 In the latest Federal Budget, there's a proposal to extend the $20,000 threshold to 30 June 2019. But it hasn't passed as law yet.
Got a a question? I’m not an accountant, but I’d be happy to answer any questions in the comments below.
Want to take advantage of tax benefits? Check out our collection of one-of-a-kind designs, and claim it as an instant asset write-off at June 30.
Or, maybe it’s time for that Wordpress Makeover?
“Jin was able to organise the existing content from my old website and transform it into a very professional-looking website.”