Commonwealth revenue measures introduced into Parliament or registered as legislative instruments or regulations since our previous TaxTalk publication include:

  • Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No. 1) Bill 2017, introduced into Parliament on 30 March 2017, proposes to give effect to further measures to support the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda. Specifically, the Bill proposes amendments to introduce the ‘similar business test’ as an alternative test for companies to potentially access tax losses and net capital losses (and tax losses for listed widely held trusts) where they have changed their ownership. The objective of this measure is to enable those companies and trusts to seek out opportunities to innovate and grow without losing access to those losses made for years commencing on or after 1 July 2015. In addition, the Bill will allow taxpayers the ability to self-assess for depreciation purposes, the effective life of certain intangible assets that start to be held on or after 1 July 2016.

The following Bills have received Royal Assent:

  • Treasury Laws Amendment (Bourke Street Fund) Bill 2017 which includes the 2017 Bourke Street Fund Trust Account on the list of deductible gift recipients.
  • Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No 2) Bill 2016 which among other things, introduces a statutory remedial power for the Commissioner and changes the primary producer income tax averaging rules .

At the time of writing, the Bills to implement the Diverted Profits Tax had completed their passage through Parliament and were awaiting Royal Assent. One of those Bills also will increase administrative tax penalties for taxpayers with total group-wide global income exceeding A$1 billion and also codify the OECD’s BEPS Actions 8-10 into Australian transfer pricing laws. Refer to this Tax Talk Alert for further information.

In addition the following excise and custom notices have come into effect:

  • Notice of Substituted Rates of Excise Duty for tobacco goods, effective from 1 March 2017, and
  • Notice of Substituted Rates of Customs Duty for Excise-Equivalent Goods for various tobacco goods, effective from 1 March 2017.

Federal Parliament finished its Autumn session on Friday 31 March 2017. It will next resume sitting on Tuesday 9 May 2017, which is also the date for the 2017-18 Federal Budget.