VOICE-OVER: This is Mei. She and her husband
came to Australia from the Sichuan province of China ten years ago. They settled here
and started a restaurant in a busy part of the city specialising in Szechuan cuisine,
the food of their home. MEI: Running a restaurant is hard work but
we still love to see our customers enjoying our food. Like any restaurant or business,
we have had to learn about tax and super – for our business and for our employees. VOICE-OVER: The first thing they had to learn
about was which business structure best suited their restaurant business – there are four
business structures: ■ a sole trader
■ a partnership ■ a trust
■ or a company Each business structure is different and affects
the way a business’ income is taxed. They found all the information they needed
about business structures, taxes that small businesses pay and super on the ATO website.
The ATO website also links to other free and useful resources such as business.gov.au and
small business assist which is an online feature that provides simple and easy access to information
in 10 languages. You can even book a time for them to call you back outside business
hours. Mei had no idea about employer obligations
when she first started the business – she now knows this is the tax and super they pay
for their employees in addition to their wages. Mei and her husband make sure they withhold
tax from their employees’ wages and make super payments for all their eligible employees.
Completing and lodging a business tax return is different to your Individual tax and they
also fill out regular reports called activity statements. They researched this a bit before
starting a business to get on the right track early.
Also early on, it is very important to keep all your business records – both income
and expenditure. It is easier to do it electronically using accounting software. MEI: I am very proud of our family and our
business. We came here and started something that not only pays our bills, but keeps our
family employed and financially secure. We are very, very lucky.