The ATO has advised that new and ongoing subscription costs can also qualify as eligible expenditure for the purposes of the digital adoption boost. This was not specified in the ATO’s original release on the measure.

The additional 20% tax deduction applies to eligible expenditure incurred by small and medium business entities between 7:30 pm AEDT on 29 March 2022 and 30 June 2023. The boost is for business expenses and depreciating assets and is capped at $100,000 of expenditure per income year. Eligible claimants can receive a maximum bonus deduction of $20,000 per income year.

In its latest release, the ATO states that a good rule of thumb is to consider “if the small business would have incurred the expense if they didn’t operate digitally. That is, if they hadn’t sought to adopt digital technologies in the running of their business”.

Using this rule of thumb, the ATO confirms that these costs are eligible:

  • advice about digitising a business;
  • leasing digital equipment; and
  • repairs and improvements to eligible assets that aren’t capital works.

Whether some expenditure is eligible for the boost will depend on its purpose and its link to digitising the operations of the specific small business. For example, “the cost of a multifunction printer would not be eligible if it were intended to only make copies of paper documents. However, it would be claimable if being used to convert paper documents for digital use and storage”.

Importantly, the ATO states that new and ongoing subscription costs can also qualify as eligible expenditure if it relates to a taxpayer’s digital operations; for example, an ongoing subscription to an accounting software platform for the business would qualify, as would a new subscription for digital content that is used in developing web content to advertise the business.