Australian Taxation Office

New or updated materials on ATO website.

NSW Budget

The NSW Budget for the 2015-16 financial year was handed down yesterday. Whilst the Budget contained no new taxes or tax rate increases, the Government confirmed its commitment to abolish stamp duty on selected dutiable property from 1 July 2016 and announced an extension of the Jobs Action Plan (a $5,000 payroll tax rebate to businesses that employ new workers) until 30 June 2019.

Reform of Federation Green Paper

Discussion Paper for the Reform of the Federation has been released, and considers among other things, how revenue is raised and distributed in the Federation, and notes possible reforms to address vertical fiscal imbalance and horizontal fiscal equalisation. The Federation White Paper and Tax White Paper are being developed in close collaboration so that tax, revenue sharing, and expenditure proposals can be developed together. Specifically, the Federation White Paper (expected to issue later this year) will consider the allocation of spending and policy responsibilities, and how tax revenue should be shared between all governments so they can meet their spending responsibilities.

Fuel excise

The Government has announced that it has reached an agreement to re-introduce the indexation of fuel excise to inflation, as announced in the 2014-15 Federal Budget. The Excise Tariff Amendment (Fuel Indexation) Bill 2015Customs Tariff Amendment (Fuel Indexation) Bill 2015and related Bills which contain these measures were subsequently introduced and passed by the House of Representatives yesterday. These Bills will now proceed to the Senate.

Bills introduced into Parliament this morning

The following Bills were introduced into the House of Representatives this morning:

  • Tax Laws Amendment (Small Business Measures No. 3) Bill 2015, which proposes to provide a tax discount for unincorporated small business, an up-front deduction for small business start-up expenses, and to extend the FBT exemption for work -related portable electronic devices to allow small business to provide more than one device. See also the Government'smedia release regarding these measures.
  • Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No 2) Bill 2015, which proposes the following measures:
    • tax relief for certain mining arrangements including farm-in farm-out arrangements, interest realignments and expenditure relating to the improvement of mining, quarrying and prospecting information
    • increase the statutory effective life of in-house software from four to five years
    • look-through treatment for instalment warrants and similar arrangements
    • modify the company loss recoupment rules to deal with shares with unequal rights; ensure that, for the purposes of applying the COT, tracing through superannuation entities and managed investment schemes is not required; and to clarify that the entry history rule does not operate in relation to a joining member of a consolidated group for the purposes of applying the same business test.