Labor to end quarterly Business Activity Statements for SMEs

LABOR says 1.35 million small and medium businesses will be able to lodge annual, rather than quarterly, business activity statements if it retains government on September 7.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced small businesses with annual turnover below $20 million would be allowed to lodge their BAS once a year from July 1 next year - a 10-fold increase to the current $2 million threshold.

These businesses will be able to pay instalments based on GST paid in the previous year.

While the measure will not reduce the tax burden on businesses, Mr Rudd said it would allow business owners to spend less time on paperwork and more time running their business.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed the announcement but said it should be extended to businesses of all sizes.

"Coming on top of Tony Abbott's small business policy on Monday which committed to a $1 billion per year red tape reduction and yesterdays positive announcements by Kevin Rudd about superannuation and paid parental leave administration, this is the sort of bidding war over small business compliance that ACCI's Small Business Too Big To Ignore campaign demanded," ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson said.

Mr Anderson also took the opportunity to urge Labor to reverse its budget announcement making company tax collections monthly rather than quarterly.