News Pulse for May 9, 2018

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

Budget 2018: “Tough” anti-phoenixing plan to stop small businesses getting “ripped off”

Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 says he wants to make sure small businesses “don’t get ripped off by other businesses who deliberately go bust to avoid paying their bills”.

On Tuesday, Morrison used the federal budget to explain how he will do just that, outlining the federal government’s new two-pronged plan to combat illegal phoenix activity.

The first offensive is to make changes to the corporations and tax laws.

Budget 2018: R&D tax incentive changes target big business, not startups

In its changes to the R&D tax incentive, the federal government has chosen to target primarily big business rather than startups in its efforts to save $2.4 billion over the next four years.

The scheme, which costs the budget more than $3 billion, has been growing at a rapid rate with the continued growth in the innovation sector.

Budget a tick for tech

The Turnbull government has tweaked its research and development (R&D) tax incentive program, while doling out over $40 million for a National Space Agency and $30 million into developing Australia’s capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning as part of the 2018-2019 federal budget.

Federal Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 said that the $3 billion R&D tax incentive was being amended to improve the program’s integrity, fiscal affordability and sharpen its focus.

Phoenix crackdown hits directors

Company directors who fraudulently tip their companies into receivership and leave workers and suppliers with unpaid wages and bills will face tough laws and penalties under reforms announced by the federal government.

Under reforms designed to disrupt illegal “phoenixing” activity, directors will face tough limits on their ability to resign from firms when this would leave a company with no directors, and directors will not be able to resign in order to avoid liability or prosecution.

Here’s what 14 CEOs are saying about the 2018 federal budget

As always, there are the winners and losers in the federal budget.

Among the measures that affect businesses, tech and science projects will be getting more funding, personal and business tax cuts are coming, there are reforms to open banking, changes to the research and development tax incentive, increased investment in AI and machine learning, and funding set aside for a new Australian Space Agency.

Here’s what 16 CEOs in a variety of industries are saying about the budget.

Budget 2018: Funding Australia’s data-sharing framework

After flagging last week that it would invest AU$65 million on reforming the Australian data system , the Australian government has announced in its 2018-19 Budget that it will be establishing a Consumer Data Right, a new data sharing framework, and the Open Banking Regime, as well as appointing a National Data Commissioner.

“In this Budget we are also moving forward with our Open Banking Regime and Consumer Data Right, giving small businesses and households more control, more choice, and better deals,” Australian Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 said in his Budget speech on Tuesday night.

Budget 2018: Wins few and far between for small businesses

In his budget speech tonight, Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 will outline five things the government needs to do to strengthen the Australian economy.

It is no surprise tax relief for individuals is at the top of Morrison’s list; it’s been a consistent theme throughout the (admittedly few) pre-budget leaks this year.

Royal Commission reveals its SME lending targets

The next stage of the banking royal commission is set to examine misconduct against SMEs, with the commission revealing exactly what it intends to investigate.

As part of its decision to specifically look at SME finance , the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry will explore five key areas.

SME lending in danger, says funding specialist

A cooling property market could be bad news for small business lending, according to one funding specialist.

With residential valuations falling and lending restrictions and interest rates set to increase, Australian Invoice Finance (AIF) has warned that small business owners who use their homes to secure business capital face an increasing risk of a credit crunch.

Budget 2018: Open Banking a step closer

Australia’s fintech sector will be pleased by the federal government’s budget commitment to spend $44.6 million over four years to establish a Consumer Data Right (CDR).

The CDR is a necessary building block for the progress of Open Banking, and is designed to make it easier for consumers to access their financial records and transfer information between financial institutions.

A serving of relief and revenge

Small business, on its own reckoning, accounts for about 40 per cent of the nation’s GDP, which means it will be looking for some relief in today’s budget and some revenge in two weeks when the banking royal commission shines a spotlight on small business loans.

The budget break could come in the form of a doubling in the amount allowed as an instant write off.

$20K asset write-off can help

Ben Phillips, 32, flies hot-air ­balloons across Melbourne for a living but childcare costs, immigration changes and red tape keep bringing him back to earth.

Mr Phillips is general manager of Picture This Ballooning, owned and operated by the Crock family.

Heavyweights write big cheques for small business lender Judo Capital

Small-to-medium size business lender and “challenger bank” Judo Capital has secured some heavyweight backers for a $110 million capital raising due to be closed by the end of this week.

Street Talk understands Canadian pension fund manager OPTrust, which has more than $C20 billion ($20.7 billion) in net assets, is taking a stake in the lender along with The Myer Family Company’s MFCo.

Who wins … and who loses in Federal Budget 2018?

Global corporations have already been hit with multinational tax avoidance measures that have recouped billions. Now the government is extending the crackdown to close more loopholes.

The government will tighten thin cap rules, to stop multinationals from “fiddling with how they account for debt to reduce their tax liabilities”. Tax rules around stapled structures will also be tightened to prevent them being used to convert trading income to more favourably taxed passive income.

FinTech Australia Chair Stuart Stoyan Welcomes Government Budget, Says Big News Coming on Open Banking | Crowdfund Insider

FinTech Australia says their industry will benefit from the 2018-2019 Australian Budget but big news on Open Banking will wait for a future date.

Stuart Stoyan, Chair of FinTech Australia, says he welcomes a number of funding measures outlined in the budget. These include:nn$44.6 million over four years from 2018-19 to help Australian consumers to more easily access and use their own data, with the banking sector to be the first Australian industry sector to be subject to this consumer right.

Budget 2018: R&D tax break overhaul saves $2 billion

The federal budget delivered a mixed bag for business with tax breaks for spending on research and development cut back but tax perks for small business equipment purchases retained.

In a move that will save taxpayers $2 billion over four years, Mr Morrison announced a revamp of the research and development tax incentive he argues will ensure the policy supports genuine investment in innovation.

Tackling illegal behaviour in the Black Economy | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

The Turnbull Government is taking decisive action in the fight against the black economy.

The black economy undermines community trust in the tax system, gives some businesses an unfair competitive advantage, puts pressure on the margins of honest businesses and often includes the exploitation of vulnerable employees through the underpayment of wages and the loss of entitlements.

Federal Budget: startup wish list, part three

Ahead of tonight’s Federal Budget announcement, startups have urged the Turnbull Government to facilitate better access to finance for small businesses, extend the instant asset tax write-off scheme, better support startups with global ambitions, implement sharing economy regulations, expand the R&D tax incentive and incentivise early stage investments.nnBeau Bertoli (Prospa), Tim Bos (ShareRing), Mike Rosenbaum (Spacer), Ben Thompson (Employment Hero), Shendon Ewans (Gobbill) and Julian Waters-Lynch (Typehuman) shared their budget wish lists with Dynamic Business.

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

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