Forestry managed investment

On 11 March 2016, the Commonwealth Senate Economics Committee released its final report into forestry managed investment schemes (MIS). With regards to taxation, the Committee made the following recommendations:

  • The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) undertake a comprehensive review of its product rulings to understand why some investors assume that an ATO product ruling is an endorsement of the commercial viability of the product (recommendation 1).
  • Treasury commission a review to better inform the policy around providing tax concessions for agribusiness MIS (recommendations 21 and 22).
  • The Government request the Productivity Commission to inquire into and report on the use of taxation incentives in agribusiness MIS (recommendation 23).

Charities and Not-for-profit sector

On 4 March 2016, the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business announced that the Government had decided to retain the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) following extensive consultation. In the announcement, the Assistant Treasurer said that the Government will now work with the ACNC to remove duplication and increase accountability and transparency, and would continue to work with the ACNC, States and Territories and the sector to identify areas where the burden of red tape for charities and not-for-profit organisations can be reduced.

Anti-dumping review

The Productivity Commission has released the findings of its research study of the economic stocktake of recent anti-dumping activity and the changes to Australia’s anti–dumping system since 2009. Among other things, it looks at the reasons for the recent increase in the usage of antidumping measures, analyses key recent changes to system requirements, and discusses the implications for the future evolution of the system. In its published Paper, the Commission states that a fundamental rethink on anti–dumping policy in Australia is required particularly since there is little to distinguish anti-dumping protection from other trade restrictions and arguments that the system provides other benefits to the community that would eliminate this net cost are not credible.

The Commission’s Paper can be found online