News Pulse for October 19, 2017

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

Internet Australia hits out at ‘dramatic surge’ in telecoms complaints

Internet Australia says the “dramatic surge” in complaints by consumers and small business about telecommunications services, particularly Internet services, is unacceptable and must be urgently addressed by the entire retail and wholesale supply chain.

IA chairman Dr Paul Brooks says the increasing levels of complaints underscores the need to implement the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s proposal to expand its Terms of Reference2  to explicitly include wholesale suppliers and service intermediaries into its information and investigation processes.

Everyone now hates their telco

Complaints about internet services skyrocketed in the past year, with anger at the National Broadband Network climbing by more than 150 per cent, a Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman report has found.

The TIO’s 2016-17 Annual Report, released on Wednesday morning, showed that complaints about landline phones, mobile phones and internet services increased for the first time in five years.

Let’s Talk… Innovation

This year, Australia continued its descent in the Global Innovation Index, dropping four places*. Now ranked 23rd, the nation’s innovation performance lags behind that of neighbour (and Rugby rival) New Zealand. This is concerning given the Federal Government’s $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda, launched nearly two years ago, was intended to transform Australia into an innovation leader.

As part of this week’s exclusive “Let’s Talk…” feature, focusing on Innovation, Dynamic Business put the following question to more than a dozen entrepreneurs and industry experts: “What could the Federal Government do to better support innovation?”

Government introduces bill to restrict use of company tax cut

The government has introduced a bill into Parliament to restrict passive investment companies and corporate beneficiaries of family trusts from accessing the small business tax cut, while the ATO Australian Taxation Office has released a draft ruling on the issue.

The government introduced Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan Base Rate Entities) Bill 2017 to limit access to the 27.5 per cent company tax rate by replacing the carrying on a business test with a passive income test.

Under the new rules, to access the reduced company tax rate, 80 per cent or less of the entity’s assessable income must be passive in nature.

Australian SMEs want simpler online tax reporting

MYOB’s new feature enables SMEs to lodge statements directly with the ATO Australian Taxation Office. According to new research by MYOB released today, Australian small to medium businesses (SMEs) have welcomed the simplification of Business Activity Statement (BAS) reporting requirements and are embracing online reporting. The survey of over 1000 businesses shows that 64% of SMEs did their BAS reporting themselves this year.

In a bid to make the process easier for Australian businesses, the Australian Tax Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) in July this year overhauled the complex reporting requirements so that SMEs now only need to report their GST on sales, GST on purchases and their total sales.

Telco ombudsman sees 30% jump in SME complaints: Here are the 10 worst postcodes for phone and internet 

More small businesses have complained to the telecommunications ombudsman about their phone and internet connections over the past year than any time since 2012, according to data released today.

With complaints on an upward trajectory, business founders tell SmartCompany that given the importance of online communications for running a business, having your own back-up plan for faulty connections is now critical.

Better protection for small business delivered | The Hon Michael McCormack MP

SMALL business is the big winner today, after the Government legislated a second tranche of major amendments to Australia’s competition law.

Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack said the reform is particularly important for the more than 3.2 million Australian small businesses, which make up more than 97 per cent of all businesses.

ACCC welcomes new era in competition law

The ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. welcomes two important legislative amendments to Australian competition law that have passed Parliament, following recommendations from the 2015 Harper Competition Policy Review.

The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review ) Bill passed Parliament today, following the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Misuse of Market Power) Bill 2017 (Cth) which was passed on 23 August 2017.

Passive investment companies excluded from lower tax rate | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

The Turnbull Government has today introduced a Bill clarifying that passive investment companies will not qualify for the lower company tax rate.

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said the change will make it easier for companies to determine their eligibility for the 27.5 per cent rate.

Coalition says new deal will lower electricity bills for SMEs but union warns prices will rise

Energy retailers and generators will be handed “unprecedented power to… control prices and drive up bills” under a new deal announced by the Federal Government, the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) has warned.

On Tuesday, Malcolm TurnbullThe Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Federal Member for Wentworth Prime Minister from 15.9.15 revealed the Federal Government will accept a recommendation of the Energy Security Board (ESB) for a National Energy Guarantee to deliver more affordable and reliable electricity for households and businesses. The announcement follows the release of an ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. report which found the rising cost of energy since 2007-08 is putting business under “unacceptable pressure” .

Online marketplace MyDeal enters the fintech game with SME retailer loans through Prospa

Online retail marketplace MyDeal.com.au has partnered with small business lender Prospa to offer its listed retailers loans to accelerate their growth.

Retailers who list their products through the MyDeal marketplace can now apply for a business loan of up to $250,000 directly through their supplier management system and, in the case of loans under $50,000, funding is guaranteed in under 24 hours.

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