News Pulse for October 13, 2017

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

Card payment game made fairer

Businesses should no longer be hitting customers with excessive surcharges for paying with plastic.

Australian Competitor and Consumer Commission (ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion.) rule reforms that have been in place since September 1 mean businesses can only charge customers what it actually costs them to process payments for eftpos, debit MasterCard, visa debit, visa credit and American express cards, including bank fees and terminal costs.

War of words erupts between lobby groups and NSW government over gift card laws

A war has erupted between the NSW government and one of the country’s most powerful lobbying groups following a decision to introduce new laws for gift cards.

The legislation forces retailers to honour gift cards for at least three years a move which has infuriated the Australian Retailers Association.

Fact check: Lowering Australia’s corporate tax rate

In recent weeks, the Government has sought to turn the focus of the political debate onto the economy.

In a doorstop interview, Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 spoke of Australia’s competitiveness with other nations.

Federal Court upholds decision on penalty rates

United Voice and the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) challenged the Fair Work Commission’s decision, arguing the decision was “legally unreasonable” and didn’t consider how cutting penalty rates would affect low-paid employees.

However, after a three-day hearing, a panel of five Federal Court judges found the Fair Work Commission met its legal obligations through the two-year process it undertook to reach its decision in February this year.

ATO isn’t being honest with taxpayers about the $2.5b corporate ‘tax gap’

The Australian Taxation Office was working with the government to ensure that it had the right public “messaging” before releasing its tax gap figures, Freedom of Information documents reveal.

Correspondence between the ATO Australian Taxation Office and government and Treasury, obtained under FOI, proves that prior to releasing its tax gap figures – it was supposed to be in the ATO Australian Taxation Office’s 2016 annual report – the ATO Australian Taxation Office consulted with them to ensure there was “lead time” to allow the agency “to develop the narrative and messaging”.

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