Australian Taxation Office

New or updated materials on ATO website, including:

  • Reminder about monthly PAYG instalments - 1 October 2015 is the monthly payer requirement test day for superannuation funds, trusts and individuals with adjusted base assessment instalment income (BAII) of $1 billion or more, and companies with adjusted BAII of $20 million or more to transition to monthly instalments from 1 January 2016.

Tax Reform

Federal, State and Territory treasurers are meeting in Canberra today to discuss the need for national tax reform. The Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, will advise his State and Territory counterparts of the six principles that the Commonwealth is pursing through the Tax White Paper process. The Treasurer indicated yesterday that the Government believes that "Australia's personal and corporate income tax rates are too high and that we need to reduce the burden of tax on hardworking Australians." Also on today's agenda are a number of specific measures to promote greater integrity in the tax system, including discussion on broadening the GST to cover overseas online transactions under $1,000. We expect a formal announcement and/or draft legislation for this proposed change soon.

Parliament

Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 and related Bills, which seek to strengthen the integrity of Australia's foreign investment framework, were yesterday referred to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee for report on the provisions of the Bills by 12 October 2015.

Australia's innovation system

The interim report of the Senate inquiry into Australia's innovation system has been tabled in Parliament. The interim report consists of an issues paper aimed at providing context, identifying issues, and stimulating discussion, and covers the role of a National Innovation System, current levels of investment in research and development, education and skills, industrial transformation, collaboration, the contribution of start-up businesses and management practices. Some policy issues and options are also identified, with a view to activating current and future sources of competitive advantage. The committee has been granted an extension of time to deliver its final report until 25 November 2015.

Wine Equalisation Tax

The Assistant Treasurer has announced the release of a Discussion Paper on the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate, and the establishment of a WET Rebate Consultative Group which will consider submissions and provide advice to the Government later this year on options for reform. The Discussion Paper provides an overview of the Australian wine industry and raises issues facing the industry, including the operation of the WET Rebate. This paper forms part of the Tax White Paper process and will help inform the conversation on taxation reform. Submissions can be made until Friday 11 September 2015.