News Pulse for October 8, 2018

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

Black economy denial of tax deduction moves represent an effective ‘big stick’

Moves to crack down on the black economy through denial of some tax deductions to business have been welcomed as an effective “big stick” to change poor behaviour.

Tax experts have welcomed plans by the federal government to extend denial of a deduction in situations where businesses fail to withhold certain pay-as-you-go amounts from salary and wages for employees, and from payments to contractors who do not quote a valid Australian Business Number.

Inspector-general of taxation calls for oversight of ATO to be improved, amid concerns power is too concentrated 

Tax watchdog Ali Noroozi has called for the independence of his office to be bolstered and for the oversight of the Australian Tax Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) to be improved, amid concerns power is too concentrated at the highest level of the organisation.

In a valedictory speech delivered in Melbourne on Thursday night, the departing inspector-general of taxation (IGT) made a series of recommendations for improving tax administration.

Outgoing tax head calls for checks on ATO Commissioner’s power

The departing tax watchdog has stepped up calls for increased oversight of the Australian Taxation office to “address concerns regarding too much power being concentrated in one individual, i.e. the Commissioner”.

In a valedictory speech to be delivered in Melbourne on Thursday night, the Inspector-General of Taxation , Ali Noroozi, also warns his agency is increasingly doing “more with less” in the face of rising complaints about the ATO Australian Taxation Office, saying it needs a “significant” lift in resources.

ATO’s Chris Jordan has ‘too much power’, tax watchdog warns

The Inspector-General of Taxation, Ali Noroozi, has urged the federal government to impose an independent supervisory board to hold Australian Taxation Office Commissioner Chris Jordan to account because too much power is concentrated in his hands, in a biting farewell speech after a decade in the job.

The call comes as other key financial regulators the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority face a possible overhaul following the banking royal commission and lead-up to the federal election.

Are You Kidding Me, Facebook

Facebook is currently dealing with the fallout of a massive attack that compromised site security and allowed hackers to seize the access tokens of roughly 50 million accounts, potentially giving them full control of both the accounts and linked apps. It is still sorting out what user data might have been stolen . Amid all this, Facebook is also extending its grip on how long it can keep account deletion requests in hiatus from two weeks to a month, the Verge reported on Wednesday.

What is open banking and how will it affect you?

Open banking is being phased in from July 2019, making it easier for you to switch banks and get a better deal. It could even result in fintechs being a more viable option for you over a traditional bank.

But what is open banking exactly, how much control will it give you over your own data, and what are banks doing about potential privacy issues?

High-society fintech under pressure to perform for billionaire backers

As a “fintech” craze swept the financial world in late 2014, three of the country’s most powerful moguls put their cash into a bold plan to get a piece of the action.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and companies controlled by James Packer and Kerry Stokes were all part of a high-profile consortium to invest in local start-up peer-to-peer (P2P) lender, SocietyOne, in a deal that Matthew Grounds, the UBS Australia chief, helped bring together.

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