News Pulse for December 13, 2016

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

Australia lost $4.8b in 2014 to tax-dodging multinationals: Oxfam

Tax dodging by Australian-based multinationals through 15 of the worst corporate tax havens cost Australia up to $4.8 billion in 2014, 90 per cent of Australia’s lost corporate tax, a new report from Oxfam has revealed.

The top three offshore financial centres used by those multinationals operating in Australia were Switzerland, Singapore, and the Netherlands.

More Aldi tax details come to light

More light has been shed on the tax affairs of the secretive German supermarket Aldi, with the latest Tax Office figures showing it paid $71.56 million in tax in 2014-15.

Aldi Foods had total income of $5.8 billion for the 2014-15 financial year, taxable income of $238.5 million and tax payable of $71.56 million, Australian Taxation Office figures for the 2014-15 financial year show .

Big businesses paying no corporate tax named and shamed

One in three large firms paid no company tax in the last financial year, the Australian Tax Office has revealed, prompting Labor to go on the attack.

Of the 1904 entities examined, a total of 679 (or 35.6%) had no tax payable, despite passing a multimillion-dollar income threshold, the ATO Australian Taxation Office reported on Friday.

Employer groups warn against underpayment and an uneven playing field

Peak employer groups have warned business owners against systematic underpayment of workers because it is creating an uneven playing field for those paying lawful wage rates.

Responding to Fairfax Media’s investigation into the rampant underpayment of young people in restaurants, cafes and retail, James Pearson, chief executive officer of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said employers should fulfil their legal requirements to avoid creating unfair competition.

Crowd control: regulating crowd-sourced funding, part 5 – Corporate/Commercial Law – Australia

More companies could now be eligible for crowd-sourced funding – or could they?

The Government has for the second time, introduced legislation to regulate crowd-sourced funding ( CSF ) in Australia after the 2015 Bill was blocked by the Senate earlier this year – but little appears to have changed.

The new Corporations Amendment (Crowd-sourced Funding) Bill 2016 remains largely the same (go here for a more in-depth analysis of the proposed legislation ).

Banks have not learnt lessons

One of the key themes in small business ombudsman Kate Carnell’s report on problematic lending to the sector, which was quietly handed to the government yesterday, is how to ensure the banks honour their longstanding promise to adopt better practices.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, there have been 17 inquiries directly relevant to the small business and family enterprise sector.

New start-up fund affords investors tax breaks

With the launch of its second co-investment fund, this month, Sydney Angels is seeking to raise between $10 and 20 million to invest in high-growth potential early-stage ventures.

Sidecar Fund 2 follows the first Sidecar Fund, which Sydney Angels launched in 2012. Sidecar Fund 1 attracted $10 million in capital from outside investors, to invest alongside (dollar for dollar) Sydney Angels members, and has benefitted 27 start-ups, which have gone on to raise a further $85 million in equity capital and grants to scale their businesses.

Los Angeles-Melbourne startup community unites with poverty-fighting accelerator to put more women in front of investors

A Los Angeles-Melbourne community for “entrepreneurial women who make shit happen” has partnered with one of Australia’s only poverty-fighting accelerators in a program that will put more startups led by women in front of investors.

One Roof Plus will take 10 early stage startups founded by women through a three-month program commencing in February 2017.

Milestone hit in lending to SMEs

Cloud accounting software provider Reckon’s partnership with fintech outfit Prospa is starting to deliver on its promise, with the ASX-listed company’s lending platform for small to med­ium businesses crossing a key milestone.

The Reckon Loans platform, launched in late July, has now funded more than $1 million to small businesses in what Reckon chief operating officer Dan Rabie says is further evidence of how SMEs are at the heart of the fintech revolution sweeping across Australia.

Social media marketing start-up Stackla banks $4 million

Social media marketing start-up Stackla has closed its second capital raise in 2016, this time banking $4 million, from an existing investor.

In February the business, which lets big brands harness word-of-mouth advertising by putting customer-generated social media content at the heart of their marketing, received a $6.1 million capital injection in February from Bailador.

LaunchVic chief outlines plans

The new LaunchVic CEO, Dr Kate Cornick, has spelled out her plan to solidify Victoria’s start-up ecosystem with the unveiling of a new start-up community ambassador program.

Speaking publicly for the first time since taking on the new role, the former Stephen Conroy staffer and ex-CEO of ASX-listed tech firm Rision said it was time to build on the progress the Victorian ecosystem had made this year.

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