Pulse Alert – News Pulse for November 30, 2018

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

‘I’m paying off a licence I no longer own’: Taxi drivers suing Uber

A major Australian law firm is launching a class action against Uber, in what it claims will be “the largest” lawsuit in the nation’s history.

Thousands of taxi and hire-car drivers, operators and licence owners across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia are expected to join Maurice Blackburn’s class action.

The case will be filed in the Victorian Supreme Court later this year or early next year.

Xero launches open banking API for accounting

Xero has launched its open banking API, which aims to enable banks, fintechs and financial institutions to connect to the platform and provide bank feeds faster than ever before for small businesses.

With the open API, banks and fintechs can now quickly and securely integrate with Xero with minimal development.

SME growth fund talks on table as RBA’s Lowe leads bankers to Canberra talks

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe will headline a group of bankers and superannuation executives due to descend on Canberra next week to discuss ways to boost small business funding at a roundtable to be hosted by Treasurer Josh FrydenbergThe Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Federal Member for Kooyong Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia from 21.9.15.

The government’s planned Australian Business Growth Fund , which would be financed by private lenders, is top of the items due to be discussed on Thursday next week, according to a draft schedule of the meeting obtained by The Australian Financial Review .

Consumers key to watchdog’s competition actions – and that won’t change

Competition watchdog chief Rod Sims will take a traditional view of consumer welfare when deciding competition issues amid a push in academic and political circles to consider other factors.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman used a speech on Thursday to note arguments occurring overseas over whether competition issues should include considerations of only the “consumer welfare standard” or also include other factors, like income inequality or the protection of small business.

Coalition to remove tax blight

The Morrison government may be in crisis but it has announced plans to totally change Australian small enterprise taxation and, in the process, transform the way wealth is created in Australia. In the process it removes one of the great blights on the Australian nation.

The famous quote from John Dalberg-Acton describes perfectly the small business power abuse of the Australian Taxation Office: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

‘Please do not panic’ on STP: ATO boss

Speaking on the ATO Australian Taxation Office’s webcast on Single Touch Payroll (STP), Commissioner Chris Jordan reiterated that micro employers – those with four or less employees – will not be forced to purchase payroll software , with alternative solutions including using their registered tax or BAS agent, among the options for such businesses.

At present, legislation to extend STP to employers with 19 or less employees from 1 July 2019 is still before the Senate.

Tech giants warn Australia against law to break encryption

Digital giants led by Google, Facebook and Amazon have warned Australia against passing a “fundamentally flawed” law allowing security services to spy on encrypted communications among suspected criminals and terrorists.

In a submission sent to parliament this week and made available to AFP Thursday, the Digital Industry Group Inc (DIGI) said the legislation proposed by Australia’s government would undermine rather than enhance the nation’s security.

Backing small business – easier, cheaper and quicker access to resolve tax disputes | The Hon Stuart Robert MP

The Liberal National Government will make it easier, cheaper and quicker for small businesses to resolve tax disputes with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office).

Announced by Prime Minister Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 last night, this builds on a series of initiatives designed to support small and medium businesses in Australia.

Small businesses to get fair hearing on ATO disputes

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell welcomed the announcement last night by the Prime Minister to fund a Small Business Concierge Service in her office to support small businesses with their Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) disputes.

“Small business owners will be able to contact us for support and advice about the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) process before making an application,” Ms Carnell said.

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