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10.3.2 Assessing the Income and Assets of Sole Traders and Partnerships
In this section
According to section 5H of the VEA income is:
- an amount earned, derived or received by a person for the person's own use or benefit;
- a periodical payment by way of gift or allowance; or
- a periodical benefit by way of gift or allowance.
An asset means any property, including property outside Australia.
For the purposes of income and assets assessment, a sole trader is a business owned by one person.
- is not a separate legal entity from the owner,
- is not a separate accounting entity, which means that sole traders need ONLY lodge a personal tax return,
- may be run in the owner's name OR under a registered business name, and
- may or may not have employees.
The owner is:
- liable for all the debts of the business, and
- entitled to all the profits of the business.
For the purposes of income and assets assessment, a partnership is the relationship which exists between people carrying on business in common, with a view to making a profit. A partnership agreement may be oral OR written. The business may be run:
- in the owners' name(s), or
- under a registered business name.
The business is not a separate legal entity, which means that although the partnership lodges a tax return, the profit or income is assessable in the hands of the individual partners.
- owns an agreed portion of the business assets,
- receives an agreed portion of the profits, and
- is 'jointly and severally' liable for all business debts.