News Pulse for May 10, 2018

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

New tax laws crackdown on tax-dodging tech giants

TECH giants will face some of the “toughest laws in the world” to ensure they do not short change Australians out of billions of dollars in taxes.

The Federal Government has pledged to turn up the heat on the likes of Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple to stop profits being shifted offshore.

The good, the bad and the boring: SMEs react to Budget 2018 

Small business groups are hailing Budget 2018 a win, but Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15’s speech last night will certainly not be one SMEs are keen to watch on replay.

When asked for reactions on last night’s policy vision, “boring” was a common adjective from those in the small business community.

Black economy crackdown helps small business: Reckon

Accounting software group Reckon says federal government measures in the Budget to crack down on the black economy help to level the playing field for small businesses.

Reckon managing director Sam Allert claims the continued crackdown on the black economy is a positive way forward and, overall, if Australia can reduce the black economy or tax evasion, then everyone benefits.

Open-data regime is a significant shift of power for banking consumers: Bligh

Consumers could negotiate a better mortgage rate with a rival bank under a reform announced in the federal budget to give consumers more control over their personal data, according to Australian Banking Association chief executive Anna Bligh.

Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 announced an open banking regime, with $44.6 million over four years for a data-sharing framework known as a “consumer data right”.

Data insights will show if the nuggets of help for small business in the federal budget are actually working

It’s no secret running a small business is not easy. Managing cash flow, staff and the paperwork are daily frustrations for small business owners whose time would be better spent looking for new customers and chasing innovations to keep up with their competitors.

Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15’s 2018 federal budget aims to “keep backing business to invest and create more jobs, especially small and medium sized business”.

ACCC welcomes consumer data right

Following the Treasurer’s response to the Open Banking Review, the ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. welcomes the introduction of a general data right for all consumers and $20 million in the Federal Budget over the next four years to oversee its implementation.

The consumer data right will enable customers to share their transaction, usage and product data with service competitors and comparison services, if they choose to do so.

Budget is good for consumers, but R&D cut worries CEOs

Leading CEOs are cautiously optimistic that income tax cuts for low and middle-income earners will boost consumer confidence and spending over the next 12 months, but said the budget measures were not enough to commit to firm plans to increase investment.

CEOs of major companies across the economy including Wesfarmers chief executive Rob Scott, CSR managing director Rob Sindel, CEO of Stockland Mark Steinert and MYOB CEO Tim Reed were broadly positive about the influence of the budget and in particular the government’s tax cuts and infrastructure spending on the economy.

Prospa presses ahead with float

Prospa executives will wrap up their Asian investment meetings today and the pricing of the float is expected to become clearer over the next few days.

The online small-to-medium business lender is pressing ahead with its tilt at the public markets, even as the financial services sector remains at the centre of an ongoing royal commission.

Surprise at asset write-off, but still no permanence

SMEs were pleasantly surprised to learn the $20,000 instant deduction would be extended for another year, but the ongoing 12-month extensions are doing nothing to deliver financial certainty.

In the lead up to the budget, former ATO Australian Taxation Office director and current head of tax communications at H&R Block, Mark Chapman, told My Business that the $20,000 instant asset write-off would end as planned on 1 July this year, but that a watered down version could be made permanent.

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

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:

Why Westpac is making ‘frenemies’ with fintechs

It was only four years ago that finance technology startups were pegged as disrupting the banking space by “eating their lunch”. Now that the scaremongering has subsided, Westpac CIO Dave Curran has said that fintechs and banks are sitting down to lunch together.

“The concept of frenemies becomes a language that people are talking about … the banks know they need to work with the fintechs because that’s how we provide better services to our customers. Similarly the fintechs want to work with the banks because we have that base core logic and data that’s important in terms of how we run financial services,” Curran told the Oracle Cloud World in Sydney last week.

Let’s Talk… The Federal Budget

In this article, we look at the key take-aways from this year’s Federal Budget for Australia’s small businesses and startups. In addition, readers will discover how dozens of thought leaders responded to this week’s “Let’s Talk…” question, which asked them to weigh-in on the budget – was it a win for businesses, a missed opportunity… both?

Budget 2018: Why businesses and fintechs are disappointed

Was this year’s budget a lost opportunity? 8 business leaders weigh in Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 made special mention of small businesses in his Budget 2018 speech, saying we need to back small- and medium-sized businesses to invest and create jobs as well as strengthen our economy. And while small businesses have welcomed the measures that were announced to support them, they have questioned whether the budget is going to be enough and calling the breadth of the measures “disappointing”.

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.

Government Response to the Open Banking Review | The Hon Scott Morrison MP

The Turnbull Government will act to improve customer outcomes and increase competition in the financial sector by implementing the recommendations in the final report of its independent Review into Open Banking.

Implementation will be phased in from July 2019, paving the way for the introduction of the Government’s Consumer Data Right in the banking sector.

Budget delivers $138m to fintech sector

The government has unveiled its 2018-19 federal budget, which revealed plans to support an open banking framework; the acceleration of the GovPass program; exploring the use of blockchain for government; and the promotion of the industry.

The government will pledge $44.6 million across four years from 2018-19 for the creation of a “national consumer data right”.

Bill Ferris body gets ATO-like power on R&D claims

Statutory board Innovation & Science Australia (ISA) will be given the same power as the Australian Tax Office to set precedent on claims for the research and development tax incentive, as start-ups face uncertainty around reforms aimed at saving $2.4 billion over four years from the $3 billion-a-year scheme.

Businesses with turnover of less than $20 million a year avoided in Tuesday’s budget the “worst case scenario” of reforms proposed by ISA in 2016 , with a cap on annual R&D refunds set at $4 million from July 1 instead of the feared $2 million, the ignoring of a recommended lifetime cap on refunds, and the rate unchanged at 13.5 per cent above the company tax rate.

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