The ATO has recently updated its Decision Impact Statement on FCT v AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd 2010 ATC 20-224 to include amendments made in September 2016.
On 10 October 2016, the Federal Government released an Exposure Draft to implement changes to the debt and equity tax rules in Division 974 of Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. The Exposure Draft is intended to effect recommendations made by the Board of Taxation in its April 2015 report Review of the Debt and Equity Tax Rules.
In a recent speech to the Australian Institute of Directors, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chairman Greg Medcraft outlined ASIC’s expectations for directors. Previous speeches focused on the director’s role as a gatekeeper, and Mr Medcraft has said this will continue to be a focus for ASIC.
The chairman stated that directors should ensure their company has strong internal and audit compliance functions. He stated these functions are worthless unless the directors back it up with supervision and review, and that these processes are ingrained in the company’s culture. He considered culture a very important point and stressed directors should drive the right compliance culture in the workplace.
Proposed amendments to the employee share scheme provisions for start-ups.
On 14 October 2014, the Honourable Bruce Billson, the Honourable Tony Abbott and the Honourable Joe Hockey issued a media release titled "Encouraging employee share ownership and entrepreneurship".
The position of the Government in respect of the application of the employee share scheme (ESS) provisions to start ups has been long awaited, with it being seen as fundamental to the innovative nature of start-up companies, and the need to ensure that they retain a work environment that fosters new ideas.
As previously reported, the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme (EIP) was announced by the Federal Government, with funding of $484.2 million over 5 years. The EIP has an objective to improve the business capabilities of Australian small to medium enterprises, to make them more competitive on the global stage.
As part of the reforms to the Privacy Act 1988 Update on the Australian Privacy Principle Guidelines and Changes to the Privacy Act - Ensuring the fine print is not forgotten, credit reporting in Australia will be regulated by a new Part IIIA of the Privacy Act. This will be accompanied by a new Credit Reporting Code which will replace the existing Credit Reporting Code of Conduct.
This new regime comes into effect on 12 March 2014 with the aim to simplify, clarify and update the current credit reporting provisions. The new regime will affect most industries.
On 27 June 2013 the first major Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) judgment was handed down in Australia in the New South Wales Supreme Court. The decision in the case of Maiden Civil (P&E) Pty Ltd; Richard Albarran and Blair Alexander Pleash as receivers and managers of Maiden Civil (P&E) Pty Ltd & Ors v Queensland Excavation Services Pty Ltd & Ors  NSWSC 852 provides guidance on the operation of the PPSA and how to resolve priority disputes.
Further to the Government’s release of Advancing Australia as a Digital Economy: Update to the National Economy Strategy on 12 June 2013 (refer to Employee share scheme announcement - 21 June 2013 for an overview), Treasury and the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education issued the discussion paper Employee Share Schemes and Start-up Companies: Administrative and Taxation Arrangements.