News Pulse for July 17, 2017

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

Turnbull’s swipe at Tony

Despite the lip service given to small business as an engine room of growth and employment, voters increasingly perceive the private sector as dominated by a few giants in each sector, multinationals are perceived as not paying taxes or any attention to governments, and an ever-expanding, but ever less accountable finance sector.

New Sydney Startup Hub to open, welcomed by other startup bodies

The NSW Government-funded Sydney Startup Hub will see the relocation of the top Stone & Chalk fintech hub by November 2017, with other startup bodies welcoming the news.

Dubbed the “first incubator of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere”, the Sydney Startup Hub will be home to Stone & Chalk, celebrated as “one of the top fintech hubs globally” (according to Deloitte’s Global Fintech Hub Review 2017 – 116-page PDF report ) with 24 Australian, and International corporate partners.

NSW government has committed $35 million to its startup hub, but what will the project need to succeed?

The New South Wales government announced on Thursday details of a $35 million funding package for an 11-floor startup hub in Sydney, set to be the largest in the southern hemisphere.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the funding from Jobs for NSW to facilitate the opening of a 17,000 square metre hub on York St, in an effort to build stronger links between the Australian fintech startup ecosystem and global markets.

Bosses’ super penalties to stay

Revenue Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has rejected a call to reduce penalties for bosses who fail to pay superannuation on time.

A recommendation that penalties be made “flexible” is contained in a previously secret inter-agency report examining the non-payment of an estimated $6 billion of super every year, as revealed by The Australian yesterday.

Small business calling for speedier payment terms

Governments and Australia’s army of small businesses do not always agree to see eye-to-eye in terms of how helpful the former is to the latter, but from the governments’ side, the talk-walk ratio appears to be improving.

Australia’s 2 million-plus small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will see their corporate tax rate cut to 27.5 per cent for 2016-17, down from 30 per cent if their turnover is up to $10 million, and from 28.5 per cent if their turnover is less than $2 million. This rate is scheduled to drop to 27 per cent by 2024-25, and to 25 per cent by 2026-27.

How fintech will change the way business operates in Australia

Automated data management solutions such as AutoEntry  are disrupting the Australian finance scene by simplifying accounts preparation for accountants and bookkeepers.

Launched last year with over 25,000 businesses set up on the platform worldwide, AutoEntry captures and analyses scanned and photographed purchase and sales invoices, receipts, bank and card statements, automating data entry into accounting solutions such as Xero, QuickBooks, MYOB and Reckon. It helps users to access their financial records remotely, and upload paper documents such as bills invoices and receipts at their convenience via a mobile app.

The NSW Government is launching a $35 million innovation hub; the startup community reacts

The NSW Government has pumped $35 million into the creation of a startup and innovation hub, which will occupy 17,000 square metres, across 11 floors, on York Street in Sydney’s CBD.

In a joint statement, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Small Business Minister John Barilaro said the Sydney Startup Hub will be the largest startup hub in the southern hemisphere, with space for 2,500 residents plus a ‘regional landing pad’ to cater for entrepreneurs outside the metropolitan area.

Encryption and liberties on the ‘ungovernable’ internet

The attitude of Prime Minister Turnbull echoes the fear all autocracies have: that control is slipping away, and that citizens cannot be trusted to behave in a modern communications environment without government intrusions that compel technology companies to surrender encrypted communications, if necessary.

‘We cannot allow the internet to be used as a place for terrorists and child molesters and people who peddle child pornography, and drug traffickers to hide in the dark.’ Accordingly, ‘The laws of mathematics are very commendable but the only laws that apply in Australia is the law of Australia.’

Why encryption laws need tightening

When is a government back door into your social media account a back door and when is it “access to communications”?

That is the question experts are struggling to figure out after the government on Friday further detailed legislation , to be introduced this year, that will oblige tech companies and telcos to assist law enforcement in accessing encrypted information.

It’s a start, but unpaid super needs a better, bigger fix than this

The Turnbull government’s move to close a loophole allowing bosses to divert workers’ salary sacrifice superannuation payments deals only with the “tip of the iceberg” in a $5.6 billion unpaid super problem, according to Industry Super Australia.

And the Australian Taxation Office appears powerless to collect many unpaid super debts for legal reasons.

Government takes action to address superannuation guarantee non compliance | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

The Government will seek to legislate a key recommendation of the Superannuation Guarantee Cross‑Agency Working Group to close a loophole that could be used by unscrupulous employers to short‑change employees who choose to make salary sacrifice contributions into their superannuation accounts.

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said the Turnbull Government will introduce a Bill into Parliament this year that will ensure an individual’s salary sacrifice contributions do not reduce their employer’s superannuation guarantee obligation.

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