Australian Council


Cap on education expense tax deductions scrapped as government axes seven inherited tax policies

11:41AM | Tuesday, 12 November

Education expense tax deductions will not be limited to a yearly $2000, part of a raft of Labor changes which will not proceed under the Coalition.   This announcement has shown the path the government will take in dealing with 92 proposed tax and superannuation measures announced but not legislated by previous governments.   Assistant treasurer Arthur Sinodinos said 18 measures would proceed, and three more would be “significantly” amended. Seven initiatives would be cut.   Removal of the statutory formula method of calculating the Fringe Benefits Tax on cars was to be removed by the former government, but will now to be kept, to the considerable relief of the salary packaging industry.   A $2.4 billion move to scrap Labor’s 15% tax on superannuation incomes above $100,000 has sparked a storm, with the Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney calling it a “tax break for the rich” and while Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia chief executive Pauline Vamos welcomed it for giving “certainty”, she acknowledged the average Australian “may think it unfair”.   Sinodinos said “the complexity and compliance costs associated with this initiative are extreme and essentially undeliverable”.   Changes to so-called ‘25-90 deductions’ will not proceed. The changes announced by the previous government permitted a deduction on interest expense on borrowings used to derive certain types of foreign-sourced incomes. Tax Institute tax counsel Stephanie Caredes said the changes affect multinational businesses, but some SMEs could have been affected.   “It was a huge over-reach,” she says.   Sinodinos has set a December 1 deadline for resolving the 64 outstanding changes “with a disposition not to proceed” and aims to have them pass Parliament by July 1 next year.   One of those measures relates to how the tax regime deals with earn outs, a contingency that is negotiated during business sales when its value is not fully known.   This story first appeared on SmartCompany.

Start-ups to be hit by “triple whammy” of increased costs on July 1

5:42AM | Wednesday, 22 May

Small business will be slammed by three cost increases in the new financial year: An increase in the minimum wage, another 0.25% rise in superannuation contributions and an increase in penalty rates for many retailers, according to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.   The Australian Council of Trade Unions is before the Fair Work Commission today lobbying for a $30 per week award wage rise across the small business economy, and ACCI is characterising the push as a raid on the payrolls of hard-working small employers.   ACCI is proposing a rise of no more than $5.80 per week, a position which it says is consistent with last weeks “alarming” budget forecast.   David Turnbull, director of communication at ACCI, told SmartCompany an award wage rise would weaken business viability, reduce profitability and cost jobs.   “If the union claim gets up and there is an increase of that magnitude, it will come at the same time as an increase to the superannuation guarantee and increasing costs under modern awards that continue to be phased in,” Turnbull says.   “We’re referring to it as a triple-whammy, at a time when businesses are under significant strain you can see why we would be concerned.”   ACCI is calling for a specific superannuation wage offset and says without this the increase to the superannuation guarantee will hit hard.   Small business will also be impacted by the next round of rate increases with casual loading going up 24% and penalty rates increasing from July 1.   Peter Strong, executive director of the Council of Small Business Australia, told SmartCompany “without a doubt” the increases would all hit small business.   “What is difficult for small business is passing costs on, which is proving more difficult the way landlords work and the way the big supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths work,” Strong says.   “The government often says if there is an increase in costs pass it on to the customer and that is easy to say, but in the past decade that is more and more difficult as the big supermarkets won’t let small businesses put up prices.”   Strong says businesses will also be hit by the administrative costs of implementing the increased costs on July 1.   “The other problem that confronts us is red tape, every small business has to dive into their software and change the super contribution, it’s not like a pay rise, super is more difficult,” he says.   The FWC’s annual review of the minimum wage concludes today.

Gillard's penalty rate promise a "kick in the guts" to SMEs: Industry leaders

3:14AM | Friday, 15 March

Irate business groups across Australia have slammed Prime Minister Julia Gillard's announcement yesterday confirming penalty rates are here to stay.

‘Just outraged at the insanity of Julia Gillard’: Tech start-ups hit back in 457 visa row

3:39AM | Friday, 15 March

Key players in the Australian tech start-up scene have lashed out at Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s suggestion the 457 visa program is being abused by the IT industry.

THE NEWS WRAP: GST review reportedly on the cards after next election

3:40AM | Monday, 11 March

A comprehensive review of GST looks to be on the cards after the next federal election whatever the poll’s outcome, with both Labor and the Coalition reportedly agreeing to analyse the tax.

Business groups call for “modest” approach to minimum wage increase

5:24AM | Monday, 14 May

Business and industry groups are urging Fair Work Australia to reject a claim for the minimum wage to be lifted by $26 a week, calling for a more “modest” approach to award wages.

Federal Budget 2012: Industry groups outline wish lists for Federal Budget

5:29AM | Tuesday, 8 May

Industry groups have issued their wish lists for the Federal Budget, with an emphasis on reducing red tape and taxes, but the Government is also under pressure to target Australia’s rich.

THE NEWS WRAP: Unions push for super-charged wage rises

3:31PM | Tuesday, 27 March

Unions are set to defy Workplace Relations and Superannuation Minister Bill Shorten today by refusing to give up wage increases in return for higher superannuation payments.

THE NEWS WRAP: Australian businesses lost $85 million to fraud

3:16PM | Sunday, 18 March

Australian businesses lost a total of $85 million to fraud last year, according to new figures, with small businesses particularly vulnerable to scams.

Three-pronged pay push will hurt employers, business groups claim

3:22AM | Wednesday, 7 March

Employers will face a three-pronged pay push in coming months as unions seek pay increases for adult apprentices and other workers, while junior retail workers could also receive a pay rise.

Fair Work review broad enough, experts say, but Govt commitment to change questioned

3:29AM | Monday, 11 March

The review of the Fair Work Act is broad enough for people to get their views across, experts say, but the one-month timeframe and the Government's willingness to change the laws if need be are still in question, experts say.

Union pay push set to impact retailers

11:53AM | Monday, 21 November

Employers in the retail industry could be dealt another blow in light of a union push to introduce the adult wage at 18 years of age instead of 20, in addition to a pay push for apprentices.

Tax breaks on the agenda for October forum

7:55AM | Friday, 29 July

Tax breaks and personal tax changes are on the cards for October’s tax forum, but not all industry groups are happy about how the summit is being handled or who is invited.

Employers could face $10,000 fines for illegal workers as Federal Government unveils new laws

7:29AM | Friday, 22 July

Rogue employers could face fines of $10,000 for each worker employed illegally, with the Federal Government unveiling new laws to battle a black market believed to comprise 100,000 people.

THE NEWS WRAP: Grounded flights set to resume today

6:12PM | Tuesday, 21 June

Flights are resuming this morning after a volcanic ash cloud again disrupted air travel, although aircraft remain stranded at several airports.

Union pay rise push will hurt small business, claims ACCI

5:40AM | Monday, 16 May

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry claims a union push for a $28-a-week pay rise for employees will add $3.6 billion to the wage bills of struggling small businesses.

Business anguish over budget cuts

1:35AM | Friday, 28 January

The Federal Government will cut or delay multiple projects, funds and grants in order to cover the cost of Queensland’s $5.6 billion flood damage bill, on top of its controversial flood levy.