Instant asset write-off: the good, the bad and the confusing!


The instant asset write-off threshold for businesses has changed several times in recent months. This means that different rules apply depending on when you purchased an asset.

Because of this, we highly recommend getting advice from a tax agent regarding any asset write-offs for this financial year, to ensure you're compliant with the relevant rules. 

Current rules (as of 2 April 2019)

Asset write-off threshold is $30,000 for all small-medium sized businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million (previously $10 million).

The balance of the general small business pool is also immediately deducted if the balance is less than $30,000 at 30 June.

Threshold Changes 

(Yes, the time of day also matters)

Date Range

Threshold for each asset

Annual Turnover

7:30pm (AEDT) 2 April 2019 to 30 June 2020 $30,000
<$50 million
29 January 2019 to before 7.30pm (AEDT) 2 April 2019 $25,000
<$10 million
7.30pm (AEST) 12 May 2015 to 28 January 2019 $20,000
<$10 million

Important things to note:

  • The entire cost of the asset must be less than the instant asset write-off threshold, irrespective of any trade-ins. This includes stamp duty, GST, "add-ons", installment or other costs. If you are registered for GST and entitled to claim GST on the purchase, the cost is reduced by the GST component.  If you are not registered for GST or not able to claim GST on the purchase then the cost includes GST. 
  • The asset can only be written off when they are installed and ready to use! It is NOT the purchase date that matters, it is when you have received the goods, and they are ready for use.
  • The threshold applies to each asset irrespective of whether the asset is purchased new or second-hand.
  • In working out the amount you can claim a deduction for, you must subtract any private use proportion. 
  • As always: don't buy something just for the deduction - only buy things that you genuinely need!

Need some professional advice about your asset write-off? Get in touch!