Revenue measures introduced into the Commonwealth Parliament or as legislative instruments or regulations in the last month include the following, many of which seek to give effect to this year's Federal Budget proposals:
Income Tax Assessment Amendment (Employee Share Schemes) Regulation 2015 , registered on 1 May 2015, amends the Income Tax Assessment Regulations 1997to update the option valuation tables for Employee Share Scheme (ESS) interests to reflect current market conditions and to extend their scope to cover unlisted rights that may be exercised between 10 and 15years. The revised valuation tables apply in relation to an ESS interest from 1July 2015, even if the interest was acquired before that date.
Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (Medicare Levy and Medicare Levy Surcharge) Bill 2015, introduced into the House of Representatives on 27 May 2015, proposes to increase the Medicare levy and Medicare levy surcharge low-income thresholds for the 2014-15 year in accordance with the 2015-16 Federal Budget announcement.
Crimes Legislation Amendment (Penalty Unit) Bill 2015, introduced into the House of Representatives on 27 May 2015, proposes to increase the amount of the Commonwealth penalty unit to $180 with effect from 31July 2015, and provide for the amount to be automatically adjusted every three years in line with inflation.
Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 1) Bill2015, introduced into the House of Representatives on 27 May 2015, includes measures to:
- Repeal the legislation providing for the First Home Saver Accounts (FHSAs) Scheme, including the related tax concessions. The repeal of the FHSAs Scheme applies from 1 July 2015 for accounts opened in respect of applications made before 7.30 pm on 13 May 2014. Generally, accounts opened after this date will not be eligible to be first home saver accounts. The repeal of the tax concessions applies to 2015-16 income year and later income years. This measure was announced as part of last year's Federal Budget.
- Abolish the dependent spouse tax offset (DSTO); expand the dependant (invalid and carer) tax offset (DICTO) by removing the exclusion in relation to spouses previously covered by the DSTO; remove an entitlement to the DSTO where it is made available as a component of another tax offset, and replace that component with a component made up of DICTO; and rewrite the notional tax offsets covering children, students and sole parents that are available as components of other tax offsets. This measure applies to the 2014-15 income year and all later income years. The measure was announced in last year's Federal Budget.
- Modernise the Offshore Banking Unit (OBU) regime with effect from 1July 2015. The reforms include measures implementing recommendations of the Australia as a Financial Centre -Building on Our Strengths report by the Australian Financial Centre Forwn. The reforms also include targeted amendments to address a number of integrity concerns with the existing regime.
- Introduce an income tax exemption for the Global Infrastructure Hub
- Implement the third element of the Investment Manager Regime (IMR) from the 2015-16 income year (with some transitional relief for prior years); and
- Update the list of deductJ.ble gift recipients.
Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No.3) Bill 2015, introduced into the House of Representatives on 27 May 2015, includes measures to:
- Abolish the seafarer tax offset from the 2015- 16 income year, and
- Reduce the rates of the research and development (R&D) tax incentive by 1.5 percentage points with effect from 1 July 2014 (note that this measure, which was announced in last year’s Federal Budget, was previously included in an earlier Bill but was not passed by the Senate).
Tax Laws Amendment (Small Business Measures No. 1) Bill 2015, introduced into the House of Representatives on 28 May 2015, proposes to give effect to the 2015-16 Federal Budget proposal to reduce the company tax rate from 30 per cent to 28.5 per cent for companies that are ‘small business entities’.
Tax Laws Amendment (Small Business Measures No. 2) Bill 2015, introduced into the House of Representatives on 28 May 2015, proposes to give effect to the following 2015-16 Federal Budget proposals:
- provide an up-front deduction for small business entities for the cost of depreciating assets up to $20,000 from 12 May 2015 to 30 June 2017
- provide accelerated depreciation for primary producers for the cost of water facilities, fodder storage assets and fencing for such assets acquired from 12 May 2015 (note that the start date for this measure is now much earlier than was originally proposed in the 2015-16 Federal Budget).
Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Amendment Bill 2015, introduced into the House of Representatives on 28 May 2015, proposes to remove the obligation for employers to offer a choice of superannuation fund to temporary resident employees, or when superannuation funds merge, with effect from 1 July 2015.