Since our last edition, Federal Parliament commenced its Winter Session on 9 May 2017. Commonwealth revenue measures introduced into Parliament or registered as legislative instruments or regulations since our previous TaxTalk publication include:
· Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan No. 2) Bill 2017, introduced into the House of Representatives on 11 May 2017, proposes to give effect to the remaining elements of the Government’s Enterprise Tax Plan to progressively lower the corporate tax rate to 25 per cent for all corporate tax entities by the 2026-27 income year. This Bill follows the passage of Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan) Act 2017 which had the effect of implementing a corporate tax rate reduction but only for companies carrying on a business and with aggregated turnover of up to $50 million over the next decade.
· Treasury Laws Amendment (Medicare Levy and Medicare Levy Surcharge) Bill 2017, introduced into the House of Representatives on 24 May 2017, proposes to increase the Medicare levy and Medicare levy surcharge low-income thresholds and "phase-in" limits for individuals and seniors. This measure gives effect to the proposal which was announced in the 2017-18 Federal Budget.
· Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 2) Bill 2017, introduced on 25 May 2017, proposes to make changes to the superannuation measures enacted by the Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Act 2016 to support their integrity and ensure the law operates as intended and amend the insolvency law provisions in the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) and Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
· Treasury Laws Amendment (Accelerated Depreciation For Small Business Entities) Bill 2017, introduced on 25 May 2017, proposes to give effect to the 2017-18 Federal Budget announcement to extend by 12 months to 30 June 2018 the capital allowance small business concession which operates to allow an immediate deduction for depreciating assets which cost less than $20,000 and for amounts to be included in the second element of a depreciating asset’s cost and general small business pools where the amount is less than $20,000. After 30 June 2018, the relevant threshold will revert to $1,000.
· The Fuel Tax (Road User Charge) Determination 2017 sets the rate of the road user charge for fuel tax purposes at 25.8 cents per litre from 1 July 2017.
Income tax return season for the 2017 income year is soon to start as we draw close to the end of the current financial year. In this respect, the following legislative instruments were registered on 15 May 2017 that require the lodgment of various returns to the Commissioner of Taxation including those relating to the lodgement of income tax returns for the 2017 income year:
· Legislative Instrument: Requirement to lodge a return for the year of income ended 30 June 2017 under the ITAA 1936, the ITAA 1997, the Income Tax (Transitional Provisions) Act 1997, the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (TAA 1953), the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Trade Support Loans Act 2014.
· Legislative Instrument: Requirement to lodge a return for the year of income ended 30 June 2017 under the ITAA 1936 and the TAA 1953 – Department of Human Services – parents with a child support assessment.