Pulse Alert – News Pulse for August 16, 2019

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

Are credit card surcharges worth the hassle? Europcar fined $350,000 for excessive fees

Retail businesses are being advised to review their surcharge policies after vehicle rental giant Europcar was fined $350,000 for overcharging tens of thousands of customers.

The Federal Court ordered the company to pay the fine earlier this week after it admitted to charging Visa and MasterCard credit users more than $67,000 in excess surcharges in 2017.

The 2019 Australian salary report: Seek

SEEK has released its bi-annual data on Aussie salaries. Despite the slowdown in job ads, the average advertised salary across Australia is on the rise and up 3.5% in comparison to last year.

In a SEEK consumer survey of over 2,000 candidates, 66% of candidates agree that salaries within workplaces should be more widely known and transparent. However, more than half (55%) would never ask someone else how much they earn and more than half (53%) also feel uncomfortable when someone asks how much they earn.

Calls for greater regulation of ‘buy now, pay later’ services like Afterpay and Zip Pay

Popular “buy now, pay later” services like Afterpay and Zip Pay have been the subject of more than 250 complaints to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority in the eight months to the end of June.

The complaints relate to unauthorised transactions, incorrect fees and negative impacts on credit ratings.

‘Critical’: Push for workers to own bigger slice of companies stalls

Startups want the government to expand Australia’s employee share scheme program, claiming the current model is deterring global talent from coming to Australia.

In November 2018 Treasurer Josh FrydenbergThe Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Federal Member for Kooyong Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia from 21.9.15 and Minister for Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash promised to expand the share ownership program so small businesses could offer staff shares worth up to $10,000 in a company each year, but progress on this has stalled.

‘An offshore law firm is not a cloak of invisibility’: ATO celebrates High Court tax ruling

The High Court’s ruling that the Australian Taxation Office can rely on documents leaked to journalists from secretive law firms that provide tax-haven services is a win for the whole nation, says ATO Australian Taxation Office second commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn.

“An offshore law firm is not a cloak of invisibility to hide offshore arrangements,” he said.

Australia’s tax office can use global data leaks to pursue multinationals, High Court rules

Can something that has been seen be unseen?nnIt’s an axiom of the internet age that it can’t – and though the world’s biggest mining company, Glencore would like it to be otherwise, it’s one with which the High Court of Australia today agreed in a landmark case concerning tax havens and data leaks.

Last year Glencore went to the court to demand the Australian Taxation Office unsee what it might have seen about Glencore’s use of offshore legal lurks to minimise its Australian tax obligations.

ATO watching for foreign income this Tax Time

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) is urging taxpayers who receive any foreign income from investments, family members or working overseas to make sure they report it this tax time. New international data sharing agreements allow the ATO Australian Taxation Office to track money across borders and identify individuals not meeting their obligations.

“This year, the ATO Australian Taxation Office has received records relating to more than 1.6 million off-shore accounts holding over $100 billion and is now using data-matching and sophisticated analytics to identify foreign income that has not been reported,” Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat said.

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