Personal Services Income and How It Impacts You and Your Taxes?

If you're a budding entrepreneur, making over half of your earnings through your personal skills rather than selling goods or using assets, you're dealing with what's known as personal services income (PSI). This can have implications for your tax deductions, so let's break down the essentials.

PSI can come from your role as an independent contractor Sole trader or through a business entity like a company, partnership, or trust. The key question is whether your income qualifies as PSI, as this influences the deductions you're eligible for.

What is Personal Services Income (PSI)?

Imagine you're a skilled professional, offering your expertise in various projects. If the majority of your income stems from your direct involvement and skills, PSI is at play. This is different from businesses that primarily sell products or leverage assets.

When PSI is at play, it can impact the deductions you can claim on your tax return. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) outlines specific tests to determine whether your earnings fall under the PSI category.

Navigating the Personal Service Business Tests

So, how do you know if PSI affects your deductions? This is where the Personal Service Business (PSB) Tests come in. These tests determine whether your deductions will be subject to specific limitations or if you can fully claim them.

To qualify as a PSB, you can follow these paths:

  1. Results Test: If at least 75% of your PSI passes the results test, you can consider yourself a PSB.
  2. Alternative PSB Tests: Alternatively, you can meet one of the alternative PSB tests. Here's the breakdown:
    • Unrelated Clients Test: You need to earn PSI from two or more unrelated clients and show a direct link between the public offer and your engagement.
    • Employment Test: If you hire or contract others for work generating your PSI, meeting certain conditions, like involving others in 20% of the principal work or employing apprentices for at least 6 months, makes you eligible.
    • Business Premises Test: Your business premises must meet specific criteria, like being used mainly to generate PSI, being exclusively yours, and being physically separate from both your personal space and your client's space.

PSB and Tax Deductions what can you claim?

When you qualify as a PSB, the regular PSI rules no longer apply. This means you can claim all relevant expenses tied to your PSI, assuming you meet other deduction regulations.

Seeking Expert Guidance

Understanding whether you fall under the PSI umbrella can be quite a puzzle, especially when you're just starting your venture. Sometimes, seeking guidance from professionals who specialize in tax and financial matters can save you a lot of hassle.

At the end of the day, comprehending PSI and its implications is essential from day one of your business journey. So, if you find yourself in the complex world of PSI, don't hesitate to start a conversation with a trusted advisor who can guide you through the process. Your financial clarity starts with informed decisions!