Australian Taxation Office

New or updated materials on ATO website, including:

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs has announced that he will sign the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement that enables Common Reporting Standard information to be exchanged between countries' tax authorities at the annual Ministerial Council Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on 3-4 June 2015.

Progress of Bills

The following Bills were debated yesterday in the House of Representatives, debate was adjourned:

ACT Budget

The ACT Budget for the 2015-16 financial year was handed down yesterday. The Budget continues the tax reform agenda that commenced with the 2012-13 Budget, aiming to replace insurance duty and stamp duties with land-based taxes (ie, rates), and includes:

  • reduction in rate of duty on insurance policies from 1 July 2015, with the duty to be abolished effective from 1 July 2016, and
  • further reductions in stamp duties.

Senate Estimates hearing

This week's Senate Estimates hearings included questioning with Treasury over superannuation tax concessions and the small business concessions in the Federal Budget, lengthy questioning of the ATOover a range of issues associated with this year's Federal Budget including the proposed "public transparency code", the "permanent establishment" integrity measure and the small business concessions, along with the ATO plans for undertaking compliance activity on matters relating to the Foreign Investment Review Board, and also discussion with the Inspector-General of Taxation largely in relation to his extended role for complaint handing and operational changes since 1 May 2015.

Superannuation

Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg gave a speech to the Committee for Sustainable Retirement Incomes in which he addressed the ongoing debate about superannuation tax concessions, provided an update on the work that Treasury has been doing as part of its Review of Retirement Income Stream Regulation which is nearing completion, as well as discussing how this work is related to the Financial System Inquiry report's recommendation for the retirement phase of superannuation