Other Budget news

Carry back of losses:  New rules for companies that make a loss will start in 2012-13. Tax losses incurred in 2012-13 can be carried back and a refund claimed against tax paid in 2011-12.

From 2013-14 and in later years, the time period will be extended. Tax losses will be able to be carried back and offset against tax paid up to two years earlier.

Companies will be allowed to carry back up to $1 million of losses each year. This will provide a cash benefit of up to $300,000 a year.

The measure will principally benefit profitable small-medium companies that fall into a temporary loss position. The measure will only be available to companies, not to unincorporated businesses like sole traders or partnerships.

The Government has openly described the new rules as a policy that is intended to help small businesses.

The Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) lobbied hard for these new rules and has announced that it will now lobby the government to extend these rules to unincorporated small businesses. (COSBOA is a member of the Federal Government’s Business Tax Working Group, and the ALRTA is a member of COSBOA.)

Motor vehicle tax write-off: From 2012-13, all small businesses will be able to claim an instant tax write-off of the first $5,000 spent on any vehicle purchase, including trucks and prime movers.

Small business asset write-offs: From 2012-13, all small businesses will be able to claim an instant tax write-off of all other assets purchased with a value under $6,500.

Budget road funding

Pacific Highway duplication: The Pacific Highway duplication project will receive $3.56 billion in funding from the Budget. This is intended to complete the project by the end of 2016 if matched by the NSW Government.

In 2012-13, work will start on the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale, Frederickton to Eungai, and Nambucca to Urunga sections of the highway. The duplication project will provide shorter travel times, safer driving conditions, and better flood immunity along the 664km highway.

Other highway upgrades: In an historic achievement, the full duplication of the Hume Highway is predicted to be completed in 2012-13, creating a continuous divided carriageway between Melbourne and Sydney.

Work on sections of the Bruce, Warrego, Newell, Stuart, Princes, Calder, Dukes, Midland, Great Eastern and Great Northern Highways continues as well.

Blackspot program: $300 million has been allocated to extend the Black Spot program until 2019.

Currently, the program has completed safety improvements at 1,425 sites around Australia. This additional funding will deliver a further 1,200 projects.

Roads to Recovery Program: The Roads to Recovery Program has been extended until 2019 with $1.75 billion dedicated to the program.

This program assists councils and shires across Australia to maintain and upgrade local roads, in addition to the general financial support they receive from the Federal Government through the Financial Assistance Grants Scheme.

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