News Pulse for July 5, 2017

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

WA retail landlord ordered to repay pharmacy $40,000 in unlawful ‘management fees’

A retail landlord has been ordered to repay a Mandurah pharmacy more than $42,000 after the State Administrative Tribunal found it was unlawfully charging management fees for four years.

The trustees of the pharmacy – which now trades as Priceline Pharmacy, but has previously traded as Friendlies Chemist – claimed their landlord, Kimbriki Nominees Pty Ltd, charged them management fees and failed to review their rent every two years, as required by the lease agreement.

LaunchVic under pressure to pull 500 Startups funding

Pressure is mounting on the Victorian government-funded start-up body LaunchVic to withdraw the $2.9 million grant awarded to 500 Startups to set up a local program, as more sexual harassment allegations against its co-founder, Dave McClure, come to light.

Mr McClure, who was in Melbourne two weeks ago for the launch of the accelerator’s local program 500 Melbourne, resigned on Tuesday, and 500 Startups partner Elizabeth Yin also resigned on Tuesday , citing a lack of transparency on the McClure situation from leadership.

‘Confusing’ $20K tax break snaring business owners

SMEs are being told to check the fine print on the government’s asset write-off scheme as ‘confusing’ technicalities catch business owners out.

In June 2017, the government announced that legislation to extend the $20,000 instant asset write-off for small businesses for another year was passed by the Senate with no amendments.

While supporting the extension, the Tax Institute’s senior tax counsel, Professor Robert Deutsch, said that there is something “very odd” about the tax break.

“The oddity is that it is not actually a $20,000 write-off. The legislation actually speaks of amounts less than $20,000. Accordingly, an asset purchased for $20,000 will not qualify for an immediate tax write-off. On the other hand, if the invoice is for $19,999.99, it will qualify,” Professor Deutsch said.

‘Cancel support of 500 Startups’

I’ve been watching the #brolash response over the last couple of days. Most of it is incredibly heartening and has made me very proud of our community in #startupaus.

A topic that has come up a couple of times has been that perhaps an external body which would be responsible for policing behaviour would be helpful. Almost like an outsourced HR department across all start-ups, or a regulatory body like an APRA who’s role is to ensure that start-ups, VCs and allied professions act within a minimum moral code.

SA opposition leader makes budget reply

South Australia is in deep economic trouble and the latest Labor government budget offers no solutions as it destroys jobs and deters investment, Opposition Leader Steven Marshall says.

Mr Marshall has delivered his budget reply speech in state parliament reaffirming the opposition’s plan to block the controversial bank tax included in government’s latest financial blueprint.

Calls for government subsidies to prevent SMEs collapsing under “crisis level” energy prices

Business leaders have weighed in on the nation’s rising electricity and gas prices, labelling it a “crisis” that will destroy margins and calling for subsidies to be issued to struggling small businesses.

Price hikes for small businesses have been announced by a number of major electricity and gas providers in the lead up to June 30, and these have have come into effect this week as the new financial year begins.

ATO tax ruling | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

Reports today that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) has broadened the interpretation of company tax cuts are premature.

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said the ATO Australian Taxation Office has issued a draft ruling and will in due course provide other guidance.

Singapore investment startup Fundnel puts down roots in Australia

Singapore-based fintech investment platform Fundnel has opened an Adelaide branch, with sights set on Sydney and Melbourne for a broader expansion across Australia.

The startup connects Australian investors with local businesses through a private investment platform which has seen its users invest $75 million dollars in businesses since its launch two years ago. Its equity crowdfunding model offers investors unlisted securities in growth and pre-IPO stage companies across multiple industries.

This Australian startup which gives robo advice on ethical investments is one to watch

Tom Culver, CEO and co-founder of Goodments, an app which gives robo advice on whether potential investments will do good for the world, has been named as winner of the inaugural EY WAMTech PitchFest.

Goodments is a business with a mission to create a more sustainable future. His fintech solution simplifies the process for financial advice within the wealth and asset management (WAM) industry.

Lowering the company tax rate doesn’t help small business

Whoever came up with the saying, “beware of Greeks bearing gifts”, must have had politicians in mind. The coalition government, under the guise of backing small businesses, reduced the company tax rate to 27.5 per cent for businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million for the 2017 financial year.

This decrease in the company tax rate for small businesses is the second instalment of so called help. The first was the reduction in the tax rate from 30 per cent down to 28.5 per cent for the 2016 financial year.

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