News Pulse for October 18, 2016

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

Airtasker increases recommended hourly rates to above national minimum

Gig economy website Airtasker has heavily revised its recommended hourly rate to exceed the national minimum wage of $17.70 an hour, following allegations on underpayment.

The review follows the release of a Unions NSW report that highlighted recommended rates as low as $14.45 an hour after Airtasker had taken a 15 per cent cut for tasks such as cleaning and administration.

Small Business Ombudsman looks to New Zealand for effect of penalty rate cut

As the debate about penalty rates rages on, it’s being suggested we look across the ditch for inspiration.

A report from the Fair Work Commission on whether penalty rates should be amended is due for release early next year, but in the meantime, lobby groups on both sides continue to argue.

Three Aussie Startups That Are Trying To Disrupt The Big Guns

Some industries need a little shaking up — Uber did it with the taxi industry and Airbnb turned the accommodation world on its head.

And consumers are loving it.

Kiwi whizkids raise $39.5m from Tiger Global for mentoring start-up Crimson

Jamie Beaton and Sharndre Kushor have always been high achievers. Now the 21- and 22-year-old New Zealanders, who first met in Year 10, have officially joined the start-up big leagues.

The education mentoring technology company Crimson, which was co-founded as Beaton completed his education at Harvard, has closed a $39.5 million capital raising led by New York-based private equity giant Tiger Global and Tiger Global Management.

Corporate Tax Avoidance – Parliament of Australia

On 2 October 2014 the Senate referred an inquiry into corporate tax avoidance to the Senate Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by the first sitting day in June 2015.

On 15 June 2015, the Senate granted an extension to the committee to report by 13 August 2015. On 12 August 2015, the Senate granted an extension to the committee to report by 30 November 2015. On 23 November 2015, the Committee was granted an extension to report by 26 February 2016. On 22 February 2016, the committee was granted an extension to report on 22 April 2016.

Still Paying Super By Cheque? Time To Get Digital

Are you still paying your employees’ super contributions manually via cheque, EFT or BPAY directly to funds? If so, it’s likely you aren’t compliant with the new, compulsory standard for paying super – SuperStream.

As part of SuperStream, you need to pay and report your employees’ superannuation contributions electronically; allowing payments to be tracked and ensuring contributions are making it to the right place.

The SuperStream Deadline (28 Oct) Won’t Be Pushed Back Again, Small Businesses Warned

Businesses with 19 or fewer employees have less than two weeks to transition to SuperStream – the new, mandatory electronic standard for paying superannuation contributions.

“The Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) is pleased that more than 75 per cent of small businesses are already SuperStream compliant however, there is still a way to go to ensure everyone has made the switch,” said ATO Australian Taxation Office assistant commissioner, Nicole Dykstra.

Tax whistleblower legislation needs to be more than just protecting the individual

Indications are that the Government will soon start a dialogue with the tax community about tax whistleblower protections flagged in the 2016-17 Federal Budget . I’ve blogged previously about the USA’s protections , and since then have been thinking more about the design of Australia’s rules.

Here is my progress report on things which Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand thinks the policy designers and implementers should be working with us on. Hopefully, they’ll make contact soon…

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.

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