Beaconsfield (03) 9707 0555
Cranbourne (03) 5995 2700
Pakenham (03) 5940 4555
Warragul (03) 5622 1793
No action on GST threshold, for now
The government has ruled out lowering the goods and services tax (GST) threshold for imported goods in the near future with no final decision on the matter, despite Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury signalling that the $1,000 threshold was “very high” compared with overseas. The government accepted most recommendations from a Treasury Taskforce report that examined long-held grievances about the threshold and outlined the steps it would take in the lead up to a final decision this year – likely to be after the next election.
Changes to the Privacy Act to benefit SMEs
Changes to the Privacy Act that better protect people’s personal information, simplify credit reporting arrangements and give new enforcement powers to the Privacy Commissioner will have broad ramifications for small businesses. A key change that will result from the Privacy Act passing Parliament is that additional information will be able to be listed on consumer credit reports – including account payment information prior to default. Previously, a credit report could only include details, credit inquiries and “negative” data such as defaults, court judgements and bankruptcies.
Low take-up of grants could lie behind slow growth of businesses
Australian start-ups are failing to capitalise on government grants, which may be one of the reasons behind their failure to scale up, according to new research co-authored by Deloitte Private. This showed that only 39% of respondents had applied for some kind of grant. A few of the many government grants on offer are as below:
Free DVD and resource kit for stressed out businesses
With the support of the ATO’s Small Business Assistance Program, a DVD and resource kit has been developed by the University of Tasmania that is designed to help small business owners and managers cope with stress and anxiety pressures, or at least be better prepared should these issues arise in the workplace. The free DVD and kit are available to business owners or managers, from sole traders to employers of up to 200 staff, who register with the “Business in Mind” research project. To find our more, or to register online, visit www.businessinmind.edu.au.
Revealed: The top red tape tanglers
The fifth annual “Red Tape Survey” from the NSW Business Chamber, conducted over August and September of 2012, has the ATO leading the field of “red tape offenders”, with 40% of businesses surveyed indicating they spend more than five hours per week on regulatory compliance (an increase of 5% on last year) and 33% spending more than $10,000. After the ATO, local councils came in as the second-most red tape driven level of government (57.4%). Safety regulator WorkCover was also ranked in the top five, as well as the Fair Work Commission and Centrelink.
Changes to anti-avoidance rules likely to catch out many businesses
The government’s changes to the general anti-avoidance rules have raised the ire of the wider business community, who argue that the changes broaden the circumstances in which the anti-avoidance rules can apply and give the ATO too much power in applying them. Industry bodies said businesses will now need strong evidence about their reason for entering into a particular transaction and advised them to have documentation describing the reasons and purpose of each step of a transaction, and why they determined not to proceed with the alternatives.
ATO provides support for bushfire-affected businesses
People with a business or residential address in postcodes affected by the bushfire disaster will not need to apply for a deferral of their tax obligations as it will happen automatically, according to the ATO. For people in postcodes affected by the disaster, the ATO is providing further support by:
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