Australian Taxation Office

New or updated materials on ATO website, including:

  • The ATO yesterday released 10 draft Law Companion Guidelines in relation to the changes to the taxation of managed investment trusts contained in Tax Laws Amendment (New Tax System for Managed Investment Trusts) Bill 2015 and related Bills. The draft Guidelines have been prepared in consultation with industry, and describe how the ATO will apply the law when it comes into effect.
  • Foreign resident capital gains withholding payments: information and guidance in relation to the measures contained in Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 6) Bill 2015
  • NTLG minutes - 10 September 2015 meeting

Parliament

Yesterday was the last sitting day for Parliament for this year. Parliament will resume on 2 February 2016.

The following Bill progressed in Parliament:

  • As foreshadowed yesterday, the Senate and the House of Representatives last night passed the Tax Laws Amendment (Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance) Bill 2015, which proposes to give effect to a package of measures announced in the 2015-16 Federal Budget to combat multinational tax avoidance, with two new amendments to:
    • require significant global entities (global revenue of A$1 billion or more) to prepare general purpose financial statements, and
    • remove the exemption from the tax transparency measures for private companies with total income of $200 million or more.

The Bill has now completed its passage through Parliament and awaits Royal Assent. See also the Treasurer's media release regarding passage of the Bill.

The following Bills were introduced into the House of Representatives yesterday:

Inquiry into tax deductibility

The Treasurer has asked the House of Representative Economics Committee to undertake an inquiry "into the simplification of the personal and company income tax system". The Terms of Reference for the inquiry state that the Committee will examine some options to simplify the personal and company income tax system, with a particular focus on options to broaden the base of these taxes in order to fund reductions in marginal rates. Matters to be examined include:

  • the personal tax system as it applies to individual non-business income, with particular reference to the deductibility of expenditure of individuals in earning assessable income, and 
  • the company income tax system, with particular reference to the deductibility of interest incurred by businesses in deriving their business income.

Submissions to the inquiry can be made until Friday 15 January 2016.

Australia's Innovation System

The Senate Economics Committee has tabled its final report on its inquiry into Australia's Innovation System. The Committee has made five recommendations regarding the Government's long-term innovation strategy and the establishment of an independent government agency with a mandate to administer and coordinate innovation system policies and programs.

Tax Expenditures Statement

House of Representatives Committees Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue has tabled its report on the The Tax Expenditures Statement. The Committee made a number of recommendations to improve the Statement, including Treasury conducting prioritised reviews of tax expenditures, developing a way to aggregate all expenditures, and consulting more with stakeholders.

International tax

  • The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has issued its Revenue Statistics 2015 which presents detailed and internationally comparable tax data in a common format for all OECD countries, including Australia, from 1965 onwards.