News Pulse for August 25, 2017

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

Business to team up

A business alliance will be formed today to push for workplace ­reform and lower taxes as big and small companies counter a shift in federal parliament that leaves them exposed to sudden moves to raise revenue.

The Business Council of ­Australia will strike the agreement with the nation’s small-business community with a warning they will be “conquered” if they are ­divided on big policy questions being tackled in Canberra.

This gift card lets recipients buy shares in Tesla, Amazon and Apple, and it could make a great Father’s Day present

Stake, the Sydney fintech Stake with $0 brokerage on US share trading, has a gift card that lets the recipient buy shares like Tesla, Google, Amazon, Apple, Alibaba and Berkshire Hathaway, and we think it would make a pretty great Father’s Day present.

The startup is the first in Australia to offer such a gift card and is only second in the world behind Stockpile.

Majority of Victorian start-ups were generating revenue within their first 12 months: Report 

The majority of Victoria’s high-growth start-ups began generating revenue within their first year of operation, according to research into the state’s startup ecosystem published this week.

The Mapping Victoria’s Ecosystem  report surveyed 1600 companies across the state and was funded by LaunchVic in collaboration with dandolo partners and Startup Victoria. Of these 1600 firms, 1137 met the survey’s definition of a startup, which was “any business with high impact potential that uses disruptive innovation and addresses scalable markets”.

Banks finally fair on small biz

Last night I toasted Australian democracy and free speech. Thanks to the unfair contracts legislation, hundreds of thousands of Australian small businesses with bank overdrafts are now set to receive a new “fair contract” overdraft agreement.

An overdraft agreement where the bank can’t pull the rug out from under them when they are making their payments on time. In combination ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell not only convinced the big banks to obey the law but to go further. ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au and Carnell will quickly extend the agreement with the big banks to smaller banks and other lenders to small business. The non-bank part of the act is handled by ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. and they will now drive law-breaking CEOs and boards to comply with the act.

Why reward major tax offenders?

It is hard to win the political case for cutting the tax rate for global companies operating in Australia while trumpeting achievements in reining in their efforts to avoid Australian tax obliga­tions.

The Coalition and Labor are competing over which side is tougher on corporate tax avoidance. “We will continue our crackdown on multinationals not paying their fair share of tax,” Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 promised in this year’s budget speech, announcing a further­ tightening of the Multi­national Anti-Avoidance Law intro­duced by his predecessor, Joe HockeyThe Hon. Joe Hockey, Federal Member for North Sydney Treasurer from 18.9.13 to 21.9.15.

CHARTS: Victoria claims it’s the place to be for tech startups that want to become unicorns

Victoria is claiming the title of “tech unicorn” capital of Australia following the release of a new report into the state’s startup ecosystem.

While Sydney is home to NASDAC-listed Atlassian, worth $AU10 billion, Victorian small business and innovation minister Philip Dalidakis claimed “unicorn” (companies worth more than $1 billion) bragging rights for Melbourne, and will launch the “Mapping Victoria’s Ecosystem” report on Wednesday.

MYOB buoyed by SMB push

MYOB has announced plans to buy back up to 5 per cent of its shares over the next 12 months with the accounting software provider’s first half numbers buoyed by a strong uptick in small to medium business customers.

The company posted net profit after tax of $28 million for the six months to June 30 2017, a 13 per cent lift on the prior corresponding period.

MYOB buy-back does not spell end of innovation: Tim Reed

Accounting software company MYOB has announced a $102 million share buy-back, but says it will continue looking for acquisition targets over the next 12 months and has no intention to reduce research and development spend.

The announcement came as the group’s 2017 half-year results showed revenue jumped 14.4 per cent to $204 million and net profit rose 13 per cent to $28.3 million.

ALP’s trust plan ‘difficult nut’

Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan has sent a warning to the ALPAustralian Labor Party www.alp.org.au about its ­chances of pushing through a key election promise to wind back tax breaks for trust structures, arguing that the system has become very hard to unwind.

He described the Bill ShortenHon Bill Shorten MP,  Federal Member for Maribyrnong Leader of the Opposition from 13.10.13-led plan to clamp down on family trust structures as a “difficult nut” successive governments have tried to crack, without success.

Labor’s narrow job skills stoke concerns

A shortage of “real-world” experience on Labor’s frontbench is fuelling concerns over a negative approach to small business and raising doubts about the party’s claim to represent the interests of its traditional “aspirational” blue-collar base.

Analysis by The Australian shows that only three Labor frontbenchers have listed experience working in small business, prompting an attack from Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15, who said Bill ShortenHon Bill Shorten MP,  Federal Member for Maribyrnong Leader of the Opposition from 13.10.13 would treat the sector like a “giant ATM” if he won office at the next election.

STP ok says ATO

The  Australian Taxation Office has moved to calm fears that its new Single Touch Payroll system has the potential to damage superannuation fund members’ interests.

The ATO Australian Taxation Office says concerns that new employees could be railroaded into joining high fee super funds favoured by employers when starting a new job without being given choices of other options or comparison information on performance are unjustified.

‘Gee, it’s going to be hard’: Tax commissioner casts doubt on Labor’s plan to tax trusts

Labor’s plan to tax discretionary trusts at a flat 30 per cent rate is “a real difficult nut”, according to tax commissioner Chris Jordan.

Mr Jordan was responding to concerns raised by Paul Nielsen, chairman of the Council of Small Business of Australia, about the potential impact of Labor’s policy on small business owners .

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.

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