Inquiry into impediments to business investment

The Treasurer has written to the Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics to request that the Committee undertake an inquiry into the impediments to business investment in Australia, including the role of taxation policy at the Commonwealth and State government levels.

Government launches investigation into ATO

As reported in the media, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services has launched an investigation into the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), following recent media reports about its administration and dealings with small businesses. The ATO has also released a statement addressing the allegations. The Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has also called on affected small business owners to contact the Ombudsman.

Data matching program for motor vehicle registries

The ATO has announced that it will acquire information during the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018- 19 financial years from the eight State and Territory motor vehicle registry authorities on vehicles that have been transferred or newly registered where the purchase price or market value is equal to or greater than AUD 10,000. These records will be electronically matched with ATO data holdings to identify non-compliance with obligations under taxation and superannuation laws.

Third party reporting determination

The ATO has issued TPRE 2018/2: Excluded Classes of Transactions and Entities for Third Party Reports on Shares and Units Determination 2018. The instrument exempts the following classes of transactions from third party reporting in relation to items 6, 7 or 8 in the table included in section 396-55 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) (TAA 1953), from 1 July 2017:

  • transactions in respect of shares listed on Australian financial markets that are not required to deliver data to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) under the market integrity rules
  • trustees, other than trustees of a unit trust, in relation to a transaction that relates to shares in a company that are not listed for quotation in the official list of an Australian financial market
  • transactions in respect of employee share scheme interests where any entity is required to provide information to the Commissioner in relation to the transaction pursuant to Division 392 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953
  • transactions by small unit trusts with fewer than 10 investors and less than AUD 5 million in assets, and
  • trustees, other than trustees of a unit trust, if they are not required to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence and hold total assets of less than AUD 5 million in all trusts of which they are the trustee.

ATO reviews of draft effective lives

The ATO has started a review of the assets used in wholesaling industries with a view to making new effective life determinations. In addition, the ATO has also released the draft effective lives of assets used in the butter manufacturing industry and the ice cream manufacturing industry.

ALP’s negative gearing and capital gains tax policies

Treasury has released documents under Freedom of Information requests relating to the Australian Labor Party’s negative gearing and capital gains tax policies and their impact on housing supply.

Senate committee hearing into ATO’s annual report

The transcript of the public hearing of the Senate Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue's ‘Inquiry into the 2016-17 Annual Report of the ATO’ is now available. The Commissioner of Taxation and the Inspector-General of Taxation appeared and discussed, among other things, transparency of tax debt law, ATO debt collection and handling of disputes.

Tathra bushfires declared disaster for tax purposes

The Government has declared the March 2018 Tathra bushfires a disaster for the purposes of establishing Australian disaster relief funds. Donations to Australian disaster relief funds established to provide relief in the aftermath of the bushfires will be tax deductible for a period of two years from 18 March 2018.

IGT presentation on revenue authority scrutiny

The Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) gave a presentation to the 13th International Conference on Tax Administration in which he discussed revenue authority scrutiny in the age of the sharing economy.