Australian Taxation Office
New or updated materials on ATO website, including:
- ATO's Legal Database is getting a refresh - ATO webinar to be held on 15 October 2015 to discuss the new database
- ATO focus on contractors involved in 2018 Commonwealth Games construction projects
Multinational anti-avoidance Bill
Tax Laws Amendment (Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance) Bill 2015 was introduced into the House of Representatives this morning and proposes to give effect to a package of measures announced in the 2015-16 Federal Budget to combat multinational tax avoidance, including:
- new multinational anti-avoidance law designed to counter the erosion of the Australian tax base by multinational entities using artificial or contrived arrangements to avoid the attribution of business profits to Australia through a taxable presence in Australia.
- doubling the penalties imposed on significant global entities that enter into tax avoidance or profit shifting schemes. The amendments will not apply to taxpayers that adopt a reasonably arguable position.
- implementation of Action 13 of the G20 and OECD’s Action Plan on BEPS, which concerns transfer pricing documentation and Country-by-Country reporting, into Australian domestic law.
Other Bills introduced
The following Bills were also introduced into the House of Representatives this morning:
- Customs Amendment (China-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation) Bill 2015 to introduce new rules of origin for goods that are imported into Australia from China to give effect to the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) so as to enable goods that satisfy the rules of origin to enter Australia at preferential rates of customs duty and also impose obligations on exporters of Australian goods to China and for which a preferential rate of duty will be claimed, and on people who produce such goods.
- Customs Tariff Amendment (China-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation) Bill 2015 to make complementary amendments to the Customs Tariff Act 1995 to give effect to the ChAFTA.
- Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Trustee Governance) Bill 2015 makes amendments to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 to require trustees of registrable superannuation entities to have a minimum of one-third independent directors and an independent Chair on their boards.
Progress of Bills
The following Bills progressed in Parliament yesterday:
- Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 4) Bill 2015: further debate continued in the Senate (this Bill subsequently completed its passage through Parliament this morning). This Bill proposes to amend scrip-for-scrip roll-over relief, remove the income tax exemption for certain employees of an Australian government agency who work overseas, and increase the threshold relating to a lost superannuation member account.
- Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (Better Targeting the Income Tax Transparency Laws) Bill 2015 was introduced to the Senate. This Bill proposes to remove the obligation for the Commissioner to publish tax information for Australian owned private companies.
Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue
The Commissioner of Taxation, Inspector-General of Taxation and key stakeholders will appear at a public hearing in Canberra today as part of the Senate Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue'sInquiry into the 2013-14 Annual Report of the ATO. Issues to be discussed include the impact of digital technologies on tax practitioners and their productivity; the ATO’s recovery practices against individuals and small businesses; compliance strategies against ride-sharing services such as Uber; and improvements to dispute resolution processes.