News Pulse for May 23, 2017

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

NZ-founded startup Fulcrum raises $3.4m round in two days after Sydney move

Customer experience data startup Fulcrum has closed a $3.4 million capital raise from high net worth Australian families six months after shifting its headquarters from New Zealand to Sydney.

The company is led by former Westpac New Zealand tech executive Simon Pomeroy and already has a range of ASX top 50 businesses as customers. It sells a data analytics platform that pulls information from multiple channels and then automates the “next best interaction” between a customer and business to drive sales.

Deductions for tax advice should be capped at $3,000: Australia Institute

The Australia Institute think tank has backed a plan by Labor to limit deductions for the cost of managing tax affairs to $3,000.

Under current tax laws, individuals can claim all their expenses related to managing taxation, such as accountancy and legal fees, software costs and the like.

Bank levy estimated to cost Westpac $260m

Westpac has blasted the Federal Government’s new bank levy as “bad public policy” in an open letter to shareholders.

The Government forecast that the levy will raise $6.2 billion in revenue over four years by imposing a 0.06 per cent tax on certain bank liabilities.

More support to help disaster-impacted small businesses

Small Business Minister Leeanne Enoch today (Monday) urged small businesses in four more local government areas affected by Cyclone Debbie to apply for natural disaster recovery grants up to $25,000.

Ms Enoch said hard-hit small businesses in the local government areas of Isaac, Mackay and Rockhampton Regional Councils and Logan City Council can apply for Category C small business relief measures under the jointly fundedCommonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

Confused Leigh’s own words come back to bite him | The Hon Michael Sukkar MP

Andrew Leigh is repeating his misrepresentation of Australia’s corporate tax rate to defend his backflip on now opposing a cut to the corporate tax rate he once supported.

Yesterday and again today, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer tried to incorrectly claim that we don’t need to reduce the 30% corporate tax rate because somehow the corporate tax rate is actually akin to a 20% rate:

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