Australian Taxation Office
New or updated materials on ATO website, including:
- Updated Division 7A calculator and decision tool
- Withdrawn ATO ID 2001/304 Fringe Benefits Tax: 'Otherwise deductible rule'
Response to the Financial System Inquiry
The Government’s response to the Financial System Inquiry, released this morning, agrees to the overwhelming majority of the Inquiry’s recommendations, and sets out an agenda for improving the financial system that aims to strengthen resilience of the financial system, improve efficiency of the superannuation system, stimulate innovation, support consumers of financial products being treated fairly and strengthen regulator capabilities and accountability. Some specific measures include:
- consultation on legislation to support crowd-sourced debt funding,
- give legal effect to the Asian Region Funds Passport initiative by the end of 2016, and
- consult further to develop a principles-based framework for pre-selection of a comprehensive retirement income product by superannuation trustees that has regard to the outcomes of the Tax White Paper process and the Retirement Income Streams Review.
See also the joint media release from the Prime Minister, Treasurer and Minister for Small Business.
Progress of Bills
- 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, was passed by the House of Representatives yesterday. This Bill will now proceed to the Senate, which next sits from Monday 9 November 2015.
- Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Trustee Governance) Bill 2015, which will require trustees of registrable superannuation entities to have a minimum of one-third independent directors and an independent Chair on their boards, was debated in the House of Representatives yesterday.
Update on review of R&D Incentive
As part of the Review (undertaken in parallel with the Tax White Paper) to evaluate the R&D Tax Incentive programme’s effectiveness and efficiency, and extent to which it is meeting its intended policy objectives, a survey of R&D Tax Incentive registrants is now underway by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Targeted stakeholder consultations with peak industry organisations, reference groups and committees are also underway throughout October and November.
Customs and trade
The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has tabled its report into the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), recommending that binding treaty action be taken to implement the agreement. The Committee has also recommended, amongst other things, that the Government prioritise implementation of the recommendations of the Review of the Tax Arrangements Applying to Collective Investment Vehicles report and Australia as a Financial Centre — Building on our Strengths (the Johnson Report) in order to achieve full utilisation of the ChAFTA for Australian financial services.