News Pulse for May 18, 2017

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

S&P backs budget, consumers uninspired

Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 can breathe a sigh of relief after a global credit rating agency gave Australia a tick of approval to retain its triple-A rating after last week’s budget.

As important as it was that other agencies – Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings – were quick to give the budget the nod last week, S&P was the only one that has Australia on a negative outlook, a view it retains.

Tax tsar’s son charged over alleged scam that netted $165 million

THE high-flying son of an Australian Australian Taxation Office boss was yesterday arrested over his alleged role in a fraud syndicate that police claim stole more than $165 million — one of the biggest white-collar crimes in Australia’s history.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal Australian Federal Police yesterday arrested Adam Cranston at his Bondi flat in one of 27 raids on homes and businesses across Sydney.

ATO targets corporate tax ‘red zone’ for companies with interest deductions above $50m

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) has its sights on more than a dozen multinational companies that are in the “red zone” when it comes to tax deductions claimed for their cross-border “related party loans”.

On Tuesday, the Tax Office released draft guidelines to help companies assess whether their loan arrangements with related parties (such as a subsidiary based in a foreign country) carry a “high” or “low” risk of being audited, or even litigated in court.

Red tape reduction an important first step to easing regulatory burden

The announcement in the federal budget of the National Partnership on Regulatory Reform, aimed at relieving small companies of the burden of red tape, has been ­welcomed by the small-business community — with some important caveats.

Small business bodies remain wary of another outbreak of “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help,” but the presence of $300 million in funding over the next two years — as an incentive to the states and local authorities to lessen the regulatory burden on small businesses — has created cause for optimism.

Opinion: Palaszczuk and Shorten must help us help small businesses

SMALL business owners have never had a clearer picture of who, politically, is in their corner and who is charging at them with gloves on, ready to swing a punch.

In my past two Federal Budgets, we have been unwavering in our support and commitment to small business, taking swift action to be a genuine help to hardworking owners and their staff.

Government urged to lead on faster payment terms for traders

The budget brought mixed news for the nation’s small business community, but the good news was definitely good.

Kate Carnell, the Australian Small and Family Business Enterprise Ombudsman, says the government “missed a great opportunity” to make a definite move on faster payment times for small business suppliers — the biggest source of anxiety for the ­sector.


Banks forced to walk the talk on loans as ASIC cracks down on unfair contracts

It’s been a big week for Australian banks, but it’s not just the government’s proposed deposits levy that’s on their minds, with financial regulators promising to scrutinise their promises on fair terms for small business contracts.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. and Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) say they will be watching closely after the nation’s biggest banking institutions used a round-table event to promise to  uphold their legal obligations when writing small business loan terms.

OnDeck asks small businesses to ‘Turn That No Around’ when asking for loans

Small business loan company OnDeck has launched its ‘Turn That No Around’ campaign, encouraging small business to seize opportunities despite not having the initial funds.

The #turnthatNOaround campaign aims to target small business who have received a no from their banks when seeking a loan, highlighting the loan opportunities OnDeck provides.

Optus communication system ‘a game-changer’

UP to 85 per cent of people who can’t get through to a business the first time say they would be tempted to move on to a competitor.

Around three quarters of respondents to a small business survey said not being able to contact a business was frustrating and unprofessional.

The research, highlighting the lost opportunity of missed calls, was commissioned by Optus to coincide with what it says is a game changer for small and medium business with the launch of Loop. Optus wants to secure a greater share of the lucrative small business communication market, worth up to $400 million.

Ambition and success: how tax cuts ripple through communities

It’s only something you understand if you’ve lived it.

If you’ve ever paid tax as a small business, you would understand why it should be lower.

You would understand how tax cuts help you hire more people and expand your operation. You would know how confidence rises through cuts in the company tax.

Deductions give SMEs a boost

Adelaide accountant and financial planner Theo Marinis knows first hand about the benefit of the immediate deductibility of $20,000 of eligible business items for small enterprises, extended in last week’s federal budget for another 12 months.

At a cost of $6000, he replaced the street signage for his Norwood firm with a “brand spanking new aluminium one that lights up at night and can be seen from miles away”.

Intuit banks on mobile appeal

QuickBooks and Quicken creator Intuit is betting on its mobile first strategy to keep paying dividends in Australia, with the US financial software giant confident it can keep stealing customers from its local rivals Xero and MYOB.

Intuit may be a $32 billion behemoth in the global accounting software space but it’s very much a challenger in the Australian market since its launch in 2013.

Intuit believes it can steal market share from Xero and MYOB

The head of accounting for global accounting software giant Intuit has thrown down the gauntlet to local leaders MYOB and Xero, saying it will win market share from the major players and emerge to be the dominant force in the region.

“We have internal projections where we think we’ll be at the same level of market share as Xero in the next few years,” Intuit global head of accounting Richard Preece told The Australian Financial Review.

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