Australian Taxation Office

New or updated materials on ATO website, including:

Tax Reform

  • Treasurer Joe Hockey gave an address to the Tax Institute and Chartered Accountants Australian and New Zealand this morning titled "The Economic Case for Personal Income Tax Cuts". As has been widely reported in the media this morning, the speech confirms that the forthcoming Options Paper on tax reform will include options for cutting personal income tax. Read the full transcript here.
  • Treasurer Joe Hockey has released a statement and communique following a tax reform workshop with the Council of Federal Financial Relations on Friday, which includes:
    • an outline of the Commonwealth Government's six principles for tax reform
    • confirmation that the GST threshold for imported physical goods will reduced to zero, with effect from 1 July 2017. The Government will draft legislation for the change, which will require non-resident suppliers with Australian turnover of $75,000 or more to charge, collect and remit the GST (similar to previously announced changes for digital goods and services)
    • in consultation with the states and territories, the Commonwealth will further develop the other tax reform options discussed, including packages involving changes to the Medicare levy or a change to the GST.

See also the transcript of the Treasurer's press conference following the workshop.

  • The Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered an address to the Tax Institute last week titled "The future of super" in which he commented on a number of superannuation and tax reform initiatives, including:
    • progress on the Tax Reform White Paper and Financial System Inquiry
    • Treasury review of income streams, and proposals to extend concessional tax treatment to a wider range of products
    • progress on other measures underway including Managed Investment Trusts, Asia Region Funds Passport and Collective Investment Vehicles
    • Board of Taxation's involvement in tax reform, proposed statutory remedial power for the Commissioner and the Government's deregulation agenda (including opportunity for simplification of FBT).

Superannuation Guarantee Charge

Treasury has released exposure draft legislation regarding previously announced changes to simplify and reduce the harshness of the superannuation guarantee (SG) charge from 1 July 2016. As a part of announced changes, the SG charge will be simplified by aligning the earnings base for calculating the SG charge (currently total salary and wages) with the earnings base for calculating SG contributions (ordinary time earnings). Submissions can be made until Friday 18 September 2015.

Wine Equalisation Tax

Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has written an opinion piece for the Australian Financial Review regarding the Government's review of the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate, announced last week.