News Pulse for February 15, 2018

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

New Payments Platform launches in Australia: Is it secure for small businesses?

The New Payments Platform (NPP) has launched in Australia, allowing business operators using accounts from a number of financial institutions to instantly send and receive payment transfers, but experts have stressed the need for users to be wary of the risks.

Launched on Tuesday, the NPP will allow customers of up to 60 financial institutions, including National Australia Bank, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank, to send and receive payments between participating banks instantly

Concerns mount over ATO’s proposed powers to report business tax debts

Reforms that will see the tax office provide information to credit reporting agencies could impinge of privacy and signal a harder line towards small business, critics have warned.

The Turnbull government’s proposed Transparency of Taxation Debts laws will initially apply to businesses with Australian Business Numbers and tax debts of more than $10,000 that are at least 90 days overdue.

Consumers win as a one-stop-shop for financial complaints passes through parliament | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

Millions of Australian consumers and small businesses are today the big winners, with the passage of legislation to establish the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), and confirmation of how access to the new body will be significantly increased.

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, and Minister for Small and Family Business, the Hon Craig Laundy MP, said significantly more consumers and small businesses will have access to free, fast and binding dispute resolution following the passage of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Consumers First – Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority) Bill.

Terrible tax plan can be saved

Sometimes out of the worst situations can come great new developments. In decades of journalism I have never seen a draft act of parliament carefully designed to wreck the small business community of Australia than the so-called “Transparency of (Business) Tax Debts” measures.

Any politician — government, opposition or crossbencher—- who votes for this legislation in its current form should hang their heads in total shame for the damage they will have inflicted on the small business community and confidence in tax system fairness.

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