Ben Del Fabbro runs one of the 8914 businesses open in our region.
Ben Del Fabbro runs one of the 8914 businesses open in our region. Rob Williams

Tax imposts cause pain as disability service grows

"IT FEELS like you always have someone else's hands in your pockets."

Ben Del Fabbro runs one of the 8914 businesses open in our region.

A special Queensland Times investigation found most small businesses struggle to turn over $500,000 a year and 61.5 per cent have no employees.

The number of businesses that have shut down in the past four years is 4816, but Disability and Injury Services is one of our success stories.
Ben is trying to grow his business and employ more locals but he says red tape and tax imposts are taking their toll.

Six years ago, Ben and his partner Tabatha took a punt on opening Disability and Injury Services.

The business provides specialised services for people needing in-home care, community access support, therapy assistance and respite.

Ben was working for a disability service in Toowoomba in 2011 when he had a motor vehicle accident.

He received a severe injury to his shoulder and could no longer work in the role so he decided to take things into his own hands.

"My injury meant I had personal knowledge of the industry and I was able to relate better to clients," he said.

It was a big gamble giving up paid work but six years after making the decision to go out on his own, Ben now employs 28 people and is looking to continue to expand.

Tabatha works in the business when she can but she also has a job with Gold Coast City Council.

Ben described the industry as "feast or famine" and there were times when he had to take on a second job.

"I had to invest a lot into the business and there were times when the money wasn't coming back in straight away," he said.

"I have always managed to take home at least a meagre wage but now it has got a lot better and the income is more stable."

Ben said the biggest issue facing his business was the tax impacts of employees.

"If our wage bill goes over $1 million the state will tax us 6.5 per cent," he said.

"That's a $65,000 penalty - it feels like you're always collecting money for the ATO or the government." - NewsRegional