Pulse Alert – News Pulse for September 2, 2019

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

ATO clawbacks on R&D tax reviewed

Small business ombudsman Kate Carnell has launched an investigation of the Australian Tax Office enforcement of the R&D Tax Incentive, and in particular the reported clawback of $200 million in the 2018 financial year from companies that had made claims under the scheme.

Ms Carnell, who is the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, said her office had received complaints from small business about unfair treatment by the ATO Australian Taxation Office and AusIndustry in relation to R&D tax incentive claims.

Commissioner Chris Jordan vows to improve tax system experience

In an address to the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia National Small Business Summit, ATO Australian Taxation Office Commissioner Chris Jordan announced the launch of “Better as Usual”, a new program at work aimed at improving interaction with the tax system.

“A taxpayer may see many faces of the ATO Australian Taxation Office, and we know it is frustrating to feel you have to start again when dealing with a new area or different people,” Mr Jordan said.

The program will be led by Second Commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn, covering four work programs to improve client experience with the ATO Australian Taxation Office.

Banks approving 94% of business loans: ABA

The majority of businesses is shying away from seeking finance despite the Australian Banking Association claiming that 94 per cent of all SME loans are being approved by banks, in research that also explored business survival rates.

ABA chief and former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said that banks and lenders have plenty of appetite to lend to small and medium business, with 94 per cent of SME loan applications approved by lenders.

Australia’s Banks are Open for Business with Small Business Approvals at 94%

If you’ve ever dreamed of throwing in the towel at work and starting your own business, you’re not alone.In fact, more than nine million Australian’s dream of being their own boss.

Research commissioned by the Australian Banking Association, found that while millions of people have dreamed of working for themselves and starting a business, 60 per cent (5.4 million) say ‘access to money’ is the sticking point. (ABA Economic Report 2019)

Westpac Small Business Report reveals biggest barriers for small businesses

The most recent Westpac Small Business Report shows there is an expectation from small business that the economy is likely to improve, but questions remain over when. This is a good time for small businesses to look for growth opportunities and consider how they can take advantage of the better days to come.

To achieve this some businesses will need to consider hiring new staff, and while this can be an exciting milestone for a growing business, it can also be daunting. The report highlights some of the major barriers to hiring new staff for small businesses.

Commissioner Chris Jordan vows to improve tax system experience

In an address to the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia National Small Business Summit, ATO Australian Taxation Office Commissioner Chris Jordan announced the launch of “Better as Usual”, a new program at work aimed at improving interaction with the tax system.

“A taxpayer may see many faces of the ATO Australian Taxation Office, and we know it is frustrating to feel you have to start again when dealing with a new area or different people,” Mr Jordan said.

Taxation Ombudsman laments funding constraints

The Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman (IGTO) has released its corporate plan, outlining its strategic priorities and key performance areas for the next four years to 30 June 2023.

One of its key priorities include providing an independent, efficient and effective tax complaints service for taxpayers, with plans to build upon the 2,712 complaints it received in the 12 months to 30 June 2019.

Kate Carnell to review R&D tax incentive processes, while tax commissioner lays blame with advisory industry

Small business ombudsman Kate Carnell has launched an investigation into the R&D tax incentive scheme, following the debacle last year that saw the ATO Australian Taxation Office demanding millions in repayment from startups it said had claimed wrongly. However, the ATO Australian Taxation Office’s tax commissioner has shirked responsibility, instead blaming the furore on unreliable R&D advisors looking to line their own pockets.

50 per cent of small business owners earn less than minimum wage, report finds

More than half of small business owners have a taxable income less than the minimum wage, according to figures published this week in the latest Small Business Counts report. The report uses data from the Australian Tax Office to record that in 2016, 50 per cent of small businesses who filed their tax return as individuals registered a net income of between $0 and $25,000.

ASIC outlines priorities for small business in 2019-20

ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au has released its Corporate Plan for 2019-2023 and small business remains a large and important stakeholder for ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au, reflected in the plan’s action items for this financial year. ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au Commissioner John Price said, ‘With small businesses comprising 96% of all companies registered with ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au, their success is critically important to the Australian economy. As Australia’s regulator for companies, financial markets and providers of financial services and consumer credit, ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au works to help small business succeed and to ensure a level playing field for honest small business owners.’

MYOB CEO shrugs of BCA rumours and signs off with investment call

Outgoing MYOB chief executive officer Tim Reed has backed Treasurer Josh FrydenbergThe Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Federal Member for Kooyong Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia from 21.9.15’s call for Australian companies to be more adventurous in investing in future innovation plans, but said there were currently no plans in place for him to take over as president of the Business Council of Australia later this year.

Speaking to The Australian Financial Review following his decision to step down as CEO of the accounting software firm after an eventful 12-year tenure, Mr Reed said he believed Australian investment in new products and ideas was not as low as official research and development figures suggested, but called on CEOs and boards to take a longer term view on strategic planning.

Enough firepower for tough times

Accounting software maker MYOB’s outgoing boss Tim Reed says the Australian economy will need to rely on every ounce of its good fortune to combat the perils of Brexit and the unpredictable trade war between the US and China.

“These global factors will have an impact — it’s a matter of when they hit not if — but the good thing is that we have a strong pipeline of infrastructure that’s being built around the country and budgets (federal and state) are largely in balance, so there’s a bit of firepower,” he told The Australian .

Data laws creating ‘honey pots’ for theft and violence, watchdog warns

Victoria’s privacy watchdog has urged Canberra to wind back its data retention laws, warning that the amount of personal information being stored was creating “honeypots” for potential fraud, identity theft and violence against unsuspecting Australians. Four years after the federal laws were introduced – requiring telcos to keep their customers’ detailed phone and internet records for two years – Victorian Information Commissioner Sven Bluemmel has joined a growing chorus of agencies who fear the regime goes too far.

ATO clawbacks on R&D tax reviewed

Small business ombudsman Kate Carnell has launched an investigation of the Australian Tax Office enforcement of the R&D Tax Incentive, and in particular the reported clawback of $200 million in the 2018 financial year from companies that had made claims under the scheme.

Ms Carnell, who is the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, said her office had received complaints from small business about unfair treatment by the ATO Australian Taxation Office and AusIndustry in relation to R&D tax incentive claims.

ATO seeks to reassure small business over tax gaps

“I think that is a solid achievement,” the ATO Australian Taxation Office Commissioner has said of the almost 90 per cent of small businesses correctly paying their taxes, while also outlining the impact arising from its local business visits.

Seeking to provide some context over the ATO Australian Taxation Office’s recently released tax gap findings , Commissioner Chris Jordan said that despite small business taxes paid coming in 12.5 per cent below what was owed — a higher percentage than either large corporations or individual taxpayers — the sector is doing well in terms of tax compliance.

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.

0 Comments

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.