With Federal Parliament ending its sittings for 2016 on 1 December 2016, the following Commonwealth revenue measures were introduced into Parliament since our previous TaxTalk publication:
• Treasury Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No. 1) Bill 2016, proposes, amongst other things, amendments to the Corporations Act 2001 to improve the operation of Employee Share Schemes (ESS), and to add six organisations to the list of deductible gift recipients. The ESS amendments will operate so that ESS disclosure documents lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission are not made publicly available for certain start-up companies.
Other Commonwealth revenue measures registered as legislative instruments or regulations since our previous TaxTalk publication include the following:
• Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 — Exploration Development Incentive Modulation Factor — Declaration Instrument (No 1) 2016, issued on 4 November 2016 and subsequently replaced by Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 — Exploration Development Incentive Modulation Factor — Declaration Instrument (No 2) 2016 to rectify an incorrect date reference, prescribes a modulation factor of 1.00 for the purposes of working out an eligible exploration entity’s maximum exploration credit amount for the 2016/17 income year. The modulation factor ensures that the total amount of exploration credits created by eligible exploration companies undertaking greenfields mineral exploration in Australia cannot exceed the exploration credit cap for the relevant income year ($35m for 2016/17).
• The following Customs regulations have been made which amend the Customs Tariff Regulations 2004 and the Customs Regulation 2015 to give effect to the World Customs Organisation’s fifth review of the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, commonly referred to as the Harmonized System:
Federal Parliament resumes for the Autumn 2017 sittings on 7 February 2017. The following key tax-related Bills did not complete their passage through Parliament in 2016 and no doubt will re-appear on the forthcoming legislative program:
• Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No 2) Bill 2016 which proposes several amendments, including the introduction of a statutory remedial power for the Commissioner of Taxation, changes to allow primary producers to access income tax averaging ten income years after they opt out, and provide relief from luxury car tax for certain public institutions that import or acquire luxury cars for public display.
• Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan) Bill 2016 which seeks to progressively reduce the corporate tax rate over ten years to 25 per cent, increase the tax discount for unincorporated small businesses and increase the small business entity threshold for purposes. PwC 12 TaxTalk Monthly February 2017
• Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2016 which proposes to establish a legislative framework to guide the development of future superannuation policy by requiring new bills and regulations relating to superannuation to be accompanied by a statement of compatibility with the objective of the superannuation system.