News Pulse for July 20, 2017

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

Investors to lose dividend tax credits in ‘epic proportions’

Institutional investors and superannuation funds face franking credit losses of “epic proportions” unless the government deals with the adverse effect of the interplay between a lower corporate tax rate and dividend imputation, experts warn.

The problem arises because under the Enterprise Tax Plan , tax is payable on a company’s current-year turnover, whereas franking is based on the past year’s turnover.

Small business gouged and hung out to dry in Australia’s energy crisis

While governments blame each other and strike deals for big business to minimise cost impacts , small businesses are being gouged and hung out to dry.

High energy users like manufacturers and hospitality businesses are casualties of a failed system.

‘Money lost on NBN switch’

The Council of Small Business Australia says its members are frustrated and “shocked” with slow connections and poor service under the National Broadband Network, with the problems causing many businesses to suffer substantial losses.

The comments come as a top telco analyst says some NBN providers appear to be building business models based on the expectation the federal government will write down billions of dollars from the value of the network, meaning it will recover less of its investment to make way for faster and cheaper net speeds.

‘Small businesses could go under’

Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell says the government needs to consider subsidies to help small business struggling to cope with skyrocketing energy prices.

She says if the government is serious about keeping small businesses and manufacturers viable, it needs to support them.

Small business plea on post costs

Small and medium business owners could be at a disadvantage compared with bigger businesses when they use Australia Post, according to a statement by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

Ombudsman Kate Carnell said she had received a number of comments from small business operators “regarding their capacity to compete with big business when it comes to online sales.”

Women on company boards

There was something else aside from Anne Ward’s decades of commercial law and financial services experience that helped her land a spot on the board of accounting software company MYOB.

MYOB was specifically searching for a woman to join its entirely male board as it prepared to list on the ASX in 2015.

Skilled workers turned away

The Turnbull government’s citizenship and 457 visa program overhaul is deterring skilled foreign workers from choosing Australia, prompting the world’s largest job-search site to warn of negative consequences.

Indeed.com recorded a 10 per cent drop in clicks from foreigners on Australian job postings in June compared to April, when the government announced the reforms which include higher English proficiency requirements and greater barriers to permanent residency and citizenship.

ACCC war over slow NBN

The competition watchdog is preparing legal action against telecommunications companies that sell high-speed National Broadband Network packages that they fail to deliver.

The federal Opposition has lodged a Freedom of Information application in a bid to force NBN Co to release its database that sets out the theoretical maximum internet speeds for every home and business in the country.

Director ID could stop fraud

Pressure is building on the Turnbull government to clamp down on corporate fraud and company phoenixing by endorsing a director ID system after one of its own MPs told parliament the idea made a lot of sense.

“Something so simple. It makes a lot of sense to me,” Liberal member for the South Australian seat of Boothby, Nicolle Flint, told the Tax and Revenue Committee on Tuesday.

More than $600 million in funding went into Australian startups last quarter, and fintech took the most cash

Fintech grabbed $315 million of the total pool, with ZipMoney’s contribution again making a huge difference in NSW, along with smaller raises by Stockspot , Simply Wall Street , Inamo and InDebted . Airwallex’s $17 million was the big fintech contributor out of Victoria, along with Western Australia’s DigitalX and Star Payment Systems.

Govt is right to target OTT comms

The Turnbull government has announced plans for legislation to compel tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google to unscramble the encrypted communications increasingly used by terrorists and criminals to thwart the efforts of security organisations and the police.

The government’s intention to expand telecommunications security legislation to include ‘over the top’ application and service providers – many of whom are international technology companies – should be welcomed, particularly if the legislation includes the requirement for a warrant to be served prior to encrypted material being decrypted.

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