Australian Taxation Office

New or updated materials on ATO website, including:

  • Updated Public Rulings Program, as at 8 May 2015 which includes the following updates:
    • draft tax determination on whether forex realisation event 4 occurs on repayment of a loan taken out prior to a functional currency election and denominated in the currency that later becomes the applicable functional currency, has been delayed as the ATO is considering its currency and relevance
    • new draft tax ruling on environmental protection activities, due for release in December 2015
    • new draft tax determination on life insurance companies and transfers to and from the company's complying superannuation/First Home Saver Account asset pool or its segregated exempt assets, due for release on 17 June 2015
    • new draft tax ruling on the application of the taxation of financial arrangements default methods to swap contracts, due for release in September 2015
    • new draft tax determination on deductibility of costs in relation to debt interests where the cost in incurred in earning income that meets the requirements of both the foreign branch and foreign distribution exemptions, due for release on 10 June 2015
    • new draft tax ruling on when a corporate limited partnership credits an amount to a partner in the partnership, due for release in November 2015
    • new draft GST determination on free adult and community education courses, due for release in July 2015
    • final GST ruling on development lease arrangements with government agencies, due for release on 27 May 2015 (previously issued as GSTR 2014/D5)

New integrity measures

The Treasurer announced yesterday that the Government will be proceeding with two new major tax integrity measures in the 2015-16 Federal Budget:

  • strengthening the anti-avoidance regime to combat multinational tax avoidance, and
  • ensuring GST applies to all digital products sold in Australia.

The Treasurer indicated in an interview following the announcement that the multinational tax avoidance measure would commence on 1 January 2016.

Federal Budget

The Federal Budget will be handed down tonight at 7.30pm AEST. Following the delivery of the Budget, PwC's Federal Budget commentary will be available overnight on our dedicated Federal Budget website.

The following pre-Budget announcement was also made yesterday:

  • The Minister for Finance announced that as part of the Small Government Reform agenda, the ATO and Department of Treasury would be subject to "functional reviews" over the next few weeks

In Parliament

The Senate sat yesterday for the first day of the Winter 2015 sittings. The following were considered: