Chattel Mortgage Explained

Chattel Mortgage Explained

When a business needs to purchase new equipment, there are several financing options available. One of these is what is known as a Chattel Mortgage, and this offers the business a range of benefits throughout its term.

Simply put, a Chattel mortgage is one where the goods bought constitute the collateral on the mortgage. The finance company provides the cash to pay the supplier, and the business receives the goods. In this regard, the sale is classed as a cash sale and this means that the business may be able to negotiate a healthy discount and all of the GST is often claimed back in the business’ first BAS.

Where the business reports their Quarterly BAS on a “cash” basis, it is essential to use a Chattel Mortgage in order to be able to claim the GST back as a complete lump sum. Larger companies who report their Quarterly BAS on an “accruals” basis may also use a similar loan structure known as a Commercial Hire Purchase agreement, and still claim the GST back as a complete lump sum.

It’s possible to finance the complete purchase through a chattel mortgage, or to include a deposit of the business’s choice. Chattel mortgage can be used to purchase an array of items such as machinery and vehicles, which are large assets with a service life of several years or more. If the goods required are to replace existing – for example the replacement of a defunct photocopier with a new, state of the art model – many arrangements allow the old equipment to be used as a trade in, in place of a deposit.

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A residual payment at the end of the term can be arranged. This would represent the value of the goods purchased at that time, and mean that the payment amounts through the period would be smaller. This could be good for early start up cash flow. Of course, some businesses would prefer that the payments clear the debt: what is termed a fully amortized chattel mortgage.

For tax purposes, the business can claim depreciation on the goods, running costs and interest payments against its business income. Furthermore, Chattel mortgage is ideal for smaller businesses who are under the simplified tax system (STS) and have a turnover less than $2 million. This is due to the fact that you are able to pool assets and claim the one depreciation rate of 15% in the first year, and 30% diminishing value after that, no matter what type of asset is being financed.

With so many advantages, using a chattel mortgage for your business equipment requirements could be the right solution for you. Before making such a decision, it’s wise to seek the advice of an experienced business finance advisor who can guide you through the whole process and will be able to answer any questions you may have.