Australian Taxation Office

New or updated materials on ATO website, including:

  • Minutes of the NTLG meeting held on 3 December 2014. Key issues discussed included strategic initiatives to reinvent the ATO including a rethink of the traditional compliance paradigm
  • Minutes of the NTLG meeting held on 4 March 2015. Key issues discussed included post-implementation review of the ATO’s consultation arrangements, a new process for consultation using prominent retired senior practitioners on proposed taxpayer alerts, and an update on the NTLG ‘safe harbours’ project

WA State Budget

The Western Australia Budget for the 2015-16 financial year was handed down yesterday. Key measures announced include:

  • removal of the First Home Owners Grant for established homes
  • revised land tax scales applicable from the 2015-16 assessment year
  • introduction of an exemption from transfer duty for certain property transfers by incorporated associations, and
  • payroll tax exemption threshold to increase from 1 July 2016.

Budget reply

In his Budget Reply speech in Parliament last night, the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, stated that the Opposition will work with the Government to reduce the tax rate for small business from 30% to 25% as part of a comprehensive approach to address key pressures in our tax system including bracket creep and tax rates for ordinary working Australians.

Board of Taxation

Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenburg has announced three new appointments to the Board of Taxation, Mr Neville Mitchell, Ms Karen Payne and Mrs Ann-Maree Wolff, and the appointment of Mr John Emerson as Deputy Chair of the Board.

Progress of Bills in Parliament

  • Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (Employee Share Schemes) Bill 2015, which contains the proposed changes to the taxation of employee share schemes applicable from 1 July 2015, was referred to the Senate Economic Legislation Committee for report on the provisions of the Bill by 16 June 2015.
  • Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (Norfolk Island Reforms) Bill 2015 and related Bills, part of a package to reform the governance arrangements and introduce taxation, social security and healthcare arrangements on Norfolk Island, were passed by the Senate. These Bills now await Royal Assent.
  • The House of Representatives agreed to the amendments made by the Senate to the Biosecurity Bill 2014 which proposes to replace the Quarantine Act 1908 to become the primary source for managing Australia’s biosecurity system, including the management of the risk of pests and diseases entering Australia. This Bill has now completed its passage through Parliament and awaits Royal Assent.