News Pulse for August 21, 2018

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

Open banking is just the start

There are advantages in avoiding the bleeding edge of regulatory reform. This is the case in the Australian government’s drive toward an open banking regime – and by extension, open data regulatory philosophies more generally.

This does not mean Australia should take its foot off the gas in relation to the speed of open data implementation. But not coming first in this race has its advantages, and the Australian Government’s sober, measured approach to its open data regime has its advantages.

Extension of $20,000 instant asset write-off and CGT changes sit dormant in Parliament, causing “angst” for SMEs 

Two key pieces of SME-specific legislation have failed to be put to the Senate for debate after numerous parliamentary sitting weeks, despite both having near-assured bipartisan support, causing growing concern from accountants and business leaders.

The two pieces of legislation are both Treasury Law Amendments, and both seek to change tax schemes and benefits for SMEs. The first bill — Accelerated Depreciation for Small Business Entities  — seeks to extend the highly popular $20,000 instant asset write off for another 12 months to June 30, 2019.

Facebook sued for ‘misleading’ advertisers on potential reach 

A class action has been launched against Facebook over its purported reach.

Facebook faces a legal battle over allegedly misleading clients on the potential reach of a campaign using the Ads Manager tool.

Last week, Danielle A. Singer and Project Therapy, a small business that had used Facebook for advertising, launched a class action with more than 100 members against the social media giant.

Company tax cuts benefits all

There has never been a more critical juncture than right now to ­remind our politicians to be careful what they wish for.

After all, those in Canberra ­intent on wishing away a reduc­tion in the company tax rate, ­despite overwhelming economic evidence of its benefits and ­concerted action to lower company tax rates in other countries, must eventually answer for their vote.

UK fintech ‘unicorn’ Ebury heads to Australia

Billion-dollar British fintech firm Ebury has set up shop in Sydney, having identified the Australian market as a good foothold for southern hemisphere expansion.

The company, which was founded in London in 2009 by Spanish entrepreneurs Salvador Garcia and Juan Lobato Australian Taxation Office, helps small businesses transact internationally by offering tailored financing solutions which can usually only be accessed by major corporations through the big banks.

Banks and fintechs lock horns on consumer data

If you’re interested in the design of policy to put data into the hands of customers, there’s three weeks to provide Treasury with a response to its draft bill that will introduce a “consumer data right” into the Australian economy.

Banking will be the first sector to which the new right will apply – and fintech innovation is set to proliferate as a result. It will then extend to energy and telecommunications, meaning the law will stir competitive forces across some of the most important industries in the country.

SA, TAS, QLD miss out on company tax cuts: new analysis

South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland all miss out on company tax cuts with only 11% of beneficiaries headquartered in those three states, analysis of Department of Finance data and ATO Australian Taxation Office statistics reveals.

The Australia Institute has today released new analysis of a list compiled by the Department of Finance and distributed to crossbench senators outlining large companies that may benefit from the further company tax cuts for big business. The list was released under Freedom of Information laws.

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