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Sole Traders vs. Partnership For E-Commerce Businesses: What are the Tax Implications?

Starting a new business is often an exciting yet expensive venture. Still, as much as owners prefer to focus on building their online empire, there are other financial responsibilities you need to consider before you can move forward.

For one, your choice of business structure will primarily affect the tax implications it involves. With that in mind, the guide below should help you understand various tax obligations in each business structure to help you in your choices down the line:

Tax Implications for Sole Traders

A sole trader refers to an individual who managers their business using their personal ABN, which makes it the simplest and most cost-effective structure in the list. While it is the easiest to understand and start your business, it also involves more responsibilities in handling debts and liabilities.

As for the tax requirements, sole traders have a similar process in income tax rates for the general working class. This means all business income must be reported in your tax return using your Tax File Number (TFN), which you can get online through the Australian Business Register (ABR) website.

It can be a complicated and overwhelming process as you are required to pay two different taxes for business and personal expenses with PAYG (Pay As You Go) installments. You’re also responsible for handling the income tax of your employees, which means withholding it from their wages.

With all its complexity, one of the significant advantages of being a sole trader is that you can have a 50 percent capital gains tax (CGT) discount. This means that the profit you make from selling your business or its assets will be taxed at half the rate of your income tax.

Tax Implications for Partnerships

Partnerships are also relatively straightforward and cheap, like sole traders, though the primary difference is that it allows a group of people to manage a business together. This means the said individuals will share all the business income and losses.

Just like sole traders, partnerships will need a TFN and ABN. Keep in mind that it’s best to have a written partnership agreement to ensure all partners are required by law to be liable for all the business costs - including the debts and liabilities that come with the business.

As for the tax implications, partnerships are taxed for their share of the business income on top of their personal income tax rates. Fortunately, partnerships are also eligible for the 50 percent capital gains tax discount. However, you have to pay for GST on sales of goods and services if your business turnover reaches beyond $75,000.

The Bottom Line

Choosing between sole traders and partnerships for your business structure plays a pivotal role in how you will run your company. It has a major impact on your tax implications too, which is why doing your homework before deciding which one suits you best should help you make informed decisions as you start your venture.

If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable taxation accountant in Australia, we’re your best option. We offer various services that can help set up your new business venture, so get in touch with us today for a free consultation!

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