Pulse Alert – News Pulse for March 15, 2019

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

Reckon takes on software giants

Accounting software player Reckon’s boss Sam Allert says the company can still carve out a piece of the market, despite the dominance of Xerox, a reinvigorated MYOB and the growing presence of US giant Intuit.

Reckon, which missed out on selling its accounting practice software (APS) to MYOB last year, has been written off by many in the market as a viable player market.

‘No clue’ on small business

Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 says Bill ShortenHon Bill Shorten MP,  Federal Member for Maribyrnong Leader of the Opposition from 13.10.13 has “no empathy and no clue” about the pressures facing small business owners as he rails against the Labor leader’s plans to drive up the minimum wage.

The Prime Minister said small businesses would be forced to “sack workers” if the Opposition Leader passed laws that would force the Fair Work Commission drive up incomes for 2.3 million workers.

Small businesses the biggest tax dodgers

Small business is short changing taxpayers by as much as $10 billion a year and claiming the largest amount of dodgy deductions, according to new Tax Office analysis.

Ahead of publishing new tax gap figures in 2019, Taxation Commissioner Chris Jordan said small businesses was expected to be the largest sector in percentage terms, surpassing the $8.7 billion gap for salary and wage earners and the more than $2.5 billion gap for large businesses.

Peter Strong: Why the unions’ proposed wage increase will see job cuts and small business collapses 

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) thinks it’s still the 1970s. They aren’t aware of the internet or the gig economy or productivity issues or globalisation.

They believe our minimum pay needs a big increase when it is already one of the highest minimum wages in the world. They carry on about wages when ours are in the top 10 of average wages in the world. For small businesses, the wage increase for the last two years has been 6.8% (3.3% and then 3.5%) and CPI has been approximately 4% so wages are increasing ahead of inflation. They claim wages should be 60% of the median wage. If this was the case, every year the median wage would go up, and every year wages would go up substantially to chase the median figure. Inflation would increase to high levels we haven’t seen since the 1970s.

It’s time to restore confidence in the franchising industry

You have probably bought something from a franchise outlet in the last 48 hours. It probably looked like a well-branded, established business and its signage is a familiar sight in the communities you drive through.

I hope you enjoyed the product you purchased – but beware of purchasing a franchise-based business.

ACCC will eye algorithms to protect small business: Sims

The consumer watchdog has the capacity to track how algorithms used by big tech companies work and will act to protect the interests of small businesses, its chairman says.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald  smaller businesses and startups are not the focus of the watchdog’s scrutiny of big data and the use of algorithms.

The rorters dodging $10b in tax

SMALL business owners — not major multinationals — are Australia’s biggest tax rorters, the nation’s top tax collector has signalled.

Australian Taxation Office commissioner Chris Jordan says latest estimates show the small end of town is dodging a whopping $10 billion a year in tax, a gap far larger than those for big businesses or wage earners.

Manikay Partners buying at MYOB, nears blocking stake

The shadow hanging over KKR’s proposed $2 billion MYOB takeover just got bigger.

Street Talk understands dissident MYOB shareholder, US hedge fund Manikay Partners, bought at least another 2.5 per cent of the company on Thursday to take its shareholding perilously close to what would likely be required to block the deal.

Behind eight ball on R&D outlays

Australian businesses risk losing their competitive edge due to insufficient investment in research and development, according to newly appointed Innovation and Science Australia chair Andrew Stevens.

Mr Stevens said too many unsuccessful Australian businesses were employing a cost leadership strategy and focusing on increasing efficiencies and reducing costs.

Lawyers are ‘misusing’ privilege in tax cases and the ATO wants it to stop

Tax commissioner Chris Jordan is warning lawyers that the Australian Taxation Office is stepping up its crackdown on tax and legal professionals it suspects may be misusing legal professional privilege.

Mr Jordan said while the ATO Australian Taxation Office was not opposed to legal professional privilege as a concept, he was concerned that some were not using the protection appropriately.

ATO officers to swoop on Tassie

AUSTRALIAN Taxation Office officials are coming to Tasmania to “knock on the doors” of small businesses with a focus on those who advertise as cash only.

The office says 500 Tasmanian businesses can expect a visit from officials.

Assistant Commissioner Peter Holt said businesses that advertise as “cash only” and businesses that are operating outside its industry performance benchmarks will be specifically targeted.

“Ironic”: ATO manager joked about issuing business crushing garnishee notices, IGTO finds 

The acting inspector general of taxation has rebuked widely reported allegations the ATO Australian Taxation Office used garnishee notices to engage in a small-business cash grab, broadly clearing the regulator of structural wrongdoing.

Unveiling the findings from a review into allegations made by ABC’s Four Corners program last April, acting IGTO Andrew McLoughlin said his investigation only identified localised problems in Adelaide.

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