News Pulse for December 14, 2016

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

Australia’s law firms ‘prime targets for cyber attacks’

Sensitive information held by Australia’s law firms is a prime target for cyber attacks, and small law firms and barristers need great protection, according to the Law Council of Australia.The council is today launching its new information campaign, Cyber Precedent, alongside the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security Dan Tehan.

We need to sharpen our appeal as IT hub or lose to rivals, says panel of experts

Australia must position itself as an attractive destination for global technology entrepreneurs, or risk losing out to countries that do, a panel of experts has warned.

Issues such as skilled migration visa numbers and access to venture capital need to be examined to ensure the country can compete with centres such as California and Israel that have fostered large and successful IT industries.

Business sales may have huge impact on super

Small business owners who are planning on selling their business or business assets and using the proceeds towards superannuation free of capital gains tax (CGT) need to be aware of the recent changes to concessional and non-concessional caps, the SMSF Association said.

The association warned that even though the small business CGT cap rules had not been changed recently, such a move could have huge impact on their superannuation.

Perth start-up develops real-time data platform for lawyers

A Perth start-up has developed technology it has likened to a “Bloomberg terminal” for lawyers.

Bloomberg terminals provide real-time market data used by stock brokers and other financial professionals.

ATO needs to say ‘sorry’ for errors, compensate taxpayers for IT outages: review

Australia doesn’t need a taxpayer bill of rights, a review has found, but the Australian Taxation Office must take greater steps to educate the public about their rights and apologise when it makes errors.

A review by the Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT), Ali Noroozi, also suggests that the government consider whether the onus on a taxpayer to prove their innocence when hit with a tax bill should be shifted.

Uber accused of tracking celebs, politicians

First there were worries about Uber’s “god view.” Now there are concerns the company is tracking celebrities and others through its ride-hailing app.

In the latest lawsuit against Uber related to data privacy and security, former employee Samuel Ward Spangenberg alleges the company doesn’t “have regard for data protection.” He says Uber collected data regarding every ride users requested, their name, username and email, their pickup location, the amount paid, the device used to access the app and other information riders didn’t know was being collected.

Fintechs that bypassed banks in partnership hit $1m loans

The innovative partnership between Prospa and Reckon has proved to be a success. SME fintech lender Prospa and accounting group Reckon have funded over $1 million loans to small businesses, demonstrating strong demand for SME finance and the success of their platform. The partnership, which was announced in July , allowed Reckon’s customers to apply for a loan powered by Prospa.

Could a levy on big business offset $4 billion in tax avoidance?

Corporate tax avoidance cost us $4 billion in the last financial year — a small “democracy levy” on big business could help balance the scales, says John Passant .

WHEN IT COMES to big business not paying income tax, nothing much has changed.

ATO website restored following mass outage

The Australian Taxation Office has managed to restore its website after two days of mass-IT outages which took a number of its systems offline.

Earlier, the ATO Australian Taxation Office said employees had been working through the night and all of today to try and fix the problem after it began sometime yesterday.

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