News Pulse for September 19, 2018

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



ATO streamlines Single Touch Payroll further by allowing tax agents to regularly lodge on businesses’ behalf

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) has released a range of new measures to help Australian small businesses streamline their use of Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting.

In a new set of guidelines released last Friday , the ATO Australian Taxation Office announced it will now permit accountants and tax agents to act on the behalf of small and medium businesses for STP lodgements, in a coup for small operators that have been struggling with implementing the new payroll system.



Passage of government’s action to enhance ASIC’s capabilities | The Hon Stuart Robert MP

The Morrison Government is committed to delivering strong and effective regulators to govern our financial system. This is the best way to ensuring that Australia’s financial system both protects and meets the needs of Australian consumers and investors.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator.’s Capabilities) Bill 2018 successfully passed through the Parliament last night.


Pharma companies avoid estimated $215m a year in local tax: Oxfam

Pharmaceutical companies behind some of Australia’s best-known brands avoided an estimated $215 million a year in tax in Australia over a three year period – almost four times the $63 million actually paid – Oxfam says.

The report, ‘Prescription for Poverty’ looks at four of the world’s largest global pharmaceutical companies – Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck, Sharpe & Dome (MSD Australia), and Abbott – which in Australia are estimated to have unfairly avoided paying $215 million in taxes a year between 2013 and 2015.


Cracking down on the black economy | The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP

The Coalition Government has today delivered on the first of its commitments to tackle the black economy and further protect the integrity of our tax system, with the passage of tough new laws that ban software allowing businesses to understate their sales and income.

Electronic sales suppression tools allow businesses to falsify electronic record keeping systems for the deliberate purpose of reducing their tax liability and dodging their tax obligations.


MoneyMe to test the market

Trying to list a financial services company while a royal commission into banking is going on is not for the faint-hearted, but it does not appear to be preventing small financial technology lender MoneyMe from attempting the move. offers personal loans, cash loans, short-term loans and fast cash advances and is attempting to launch an initial public offering through Bell Potter and Ord Minnett.


All gift cards sold in Australia to last at least three years under new federal laws

Have you ever dug out an old gift card you received for Christmas only to discover it expired months ago? The Morrison government feels your pain.

The Coalition will shortly set national rules to ensure all gift cards are valid for at least three years, in response to bubbling consumer frustration about inconsistent expiry dates.


ASIC warns all fintech business lenders over contracts

The corporate regulator wants all online business lenders to remove unfair terms from their contracts just like Prospa has done, indicating start-ups that want to compete against banks will be held to similar regulatory standards as community expectations lift following the royal commission.

In a letter sent last week to Brad Kitschke, CEO of industry lobby group FinTech Australia, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission declared “action [is] required”.


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