Pulse Alert – News Pulse for February 20, 2019

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

Innovation not a dirty word

Federal Innovation, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews has reiterated the Morrison government’s commitment to innovation, as members of the start-up community continue to call for more attention from Canberra.

“My focus has been to normalise the whole innovation debate … People innovate every single day,” Ms Andrews told The Australian . “Innovation is about doing what we do now but faster, better and more efficiently. Just about every business is out there already doing it.”

Dinner deals startup Buddy scores Uber partnership after just six months of trading

Sunshine Coast startup Buddy Australia has secured a partnership with Uber, integrating the ride-sharing giant’s technology into its platform just in time for its expansion to Melbourne.

Founded about three years ago, Buddy secured $320,000 in early seed funding, and a further $1.8 million in 2017 , to develop its personalised restaurant deals app.

Fintechs are ready and waiting for Australia’s open banking framework

The national association for Australia’s fintech startup community FinTech Australia, as well as its members, have welcomed the progress of Australia’s Consumer Data Right bill. The bill was introduced to parliament by Federal Treasurer Josh FrydenbergThe Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Federal Member for Kooyong Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia from 21.9.15 and gives Australians control over the use of their data and the right to direct their data to be shared. It lays the framework for open banking in Australia , due to start by 1 February 2020.

Frydenberg described the bill as a “game changer”.

ATO ready to clamp down on IT contractors

IT service businesses have just months to update their processes to comply with an expanding Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) auditing program that has already clawed back more than $2.7 billion from tax-dodging building and construction firms.

A key part of the ATO Australian Taxation Office’s Black Economy Taskforce , the Taxable Payments Reporting System (TPRS) requires companies that engage contractors to keep detailed records of all funds paid to those contractors during the tax year, and report them to the ATO Australian Taxation Office by August of the next year.

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