Federal Parliament resumed for the Autumn 2017 sittings on 7 February 2017. Commonwealth revenue measures introduced into Parliament or registered as legislative instruments or regulations since our previous TaxTalk publication include:

• Treasury Laws Amendment (Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance) Bill 2017 and Diverted Profits Tax Bill 2017, introduced into the House of Representatives on 9 February 2017, which contain the following measures:

– a new Diverted Profits Tax,

– increased administrative penalties for significant global entities, and

– updating the reference to OECD transfer pricing guidelines in Australia’s transfer pricing rules to include the 2016 OECD amendments to the guidelines. 

Refer to the Treasurer’s media release and TaxTalkInsights for further information. The Bills have since been referred to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee for report by 20 March 2017. Submissions to the Committee can be made until 1 March 2017.

• Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017, introduced into the House of Representatives on 8 February 2017, which contains the Government’s revised Jobs for Families package. This includes changes to child care rebates, Family Tax Benefits and paid parental leave.

• The Treasury Laws Amendment (Bourke Street Fund) Bill 2017, introduced into the House of Representatives on 9 February 2017, which proposes to include the 2017 Bourke Street Fund Trust Account on the list of deductible gift recipients (this Bill has since completed its passage through Parliament).

• Treasury Laws Amendment (Working Holiday Maker Employer Register) Bill 2017, introduced into the House of Representatives on 16 February 2017. Refer to the Employment Taxes Update for further information.

• Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Low Value Goods) Bill 2017, introduced into the House of Representatives on 16 February 2017, which proposes to amend the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 to ensure GST is payable on certain supplies of low value goods that are purchased by consumers and are imported into Australia. Refer to to TalkTalkInsights for further information.

• Crimes Amendment (Penalty Unit) Bill 2017, introduced into the House of Representatives on 16 February 2017. Refer to the Employment Taxes Update for further information. 

• Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No 1) Bill 2017, introduced into the House of Representatives on 16 February 2017. This Bill proposes to:

– make minor technical changes to the income tax law to ensure the National Innovation and Science Agenda measures relating to the tax concessions applicable to early stage investment and venture capital investments (contained in Tax Laws Amendment (Tax Incentives for Innovation) Act 2016) operate in accordance with their original policy intent, and

– amendments to allow the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to more readily share confidential information with the Commissioner of Taxation.

• The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan) Bill 2016 is still before Parliament. This Bill proposes to amend the law to:

– give effect to the Government’s proposals to reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 per cent,

– increase the tax discount for unincorporated small businesses, and

– increase the small business entity threshold for certain purposes.

The following Customs and Excise notices and bylaws have also come into effect:

• Notice of Substituted Rates Excise Duty for excise equivalent goods (alcohol and fuel), effective from 1 February 2017

• Notice of Substituted Rates of Customs Duty for excise-equivalent goods (alcohol and fuel), effective from 1 February 2017

• Customs By-law No. 1700053 to reduce the duty free tobacco allowance from 1 July 2017.