In one tweet, here's the problem with Joe Hockey's small business tax breaks

Picture: Samsung Electronics

From tonight, Australian small businesses will be able to write off new asset purchases up to a value of $20,000 against tax, as long as turnover is lower than $20 million a year.

It’s a $1.75 billion budget provision intended to get businesses spending up.

Here’s the problem:

All over the country there are small business owners thinking about what they could buy, up to a value of $20,000, for “the business”. New laptops, a decent second-hand car for “sales expansion”, a new set of Bose speakers for “entertainment” – they’ll all qualify.

It is entirely common practice for small business owners to put certain purchases through their businesses for the tax breaks. Without doubt it will be rorted.

But it will also get tills ringing at businesses all over the country. And retail, as a sector, is the biggest employer in the country.

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