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Land Tax Changes - South Australia - Jul 2019

The Marshall Liberal Government in South Australia (State Government) announced as part of its 2019/20 budget measures to change the aggregation principles in the Land Tax Act 1936 (SA) (Act). These budget measures have been the subject of significant political discourse and discontent amongst the investment and development community.

Adam Rinaldi, Partner, advises as to the proposed scope of the budget measures and its prospective impact on investors and developers in South Australia.

A new dawn for superannuation complaints - Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) - Jul 2019

AFCA is the new authority for dealing with complaints about Financial Firms and applies to complaints submitted from 1 November 2018.

The scheme is governed by Scheme Rules, Operational Guidelines to the Rules and a Transitional Superannuation Guide. These are extensive documents and this article is only intended to provide a very brief introduction to them.

Consultant, Neil Page provides a brief introduction of the documents governing the scheme.

What do you mean by ordinary? Regular overtime, regular public holiday work, ordinary time earnings and the impact on superannuation contributions. - Jun 2019

What pay is earned for ordinary time work, and what is pay earned for other work, especially when an employee is engaged on an aggregate or annual salary?  For Bluescope, the answer to this question at its Port Kembla operation could have run into millions of dollars in compensation for unpaid superannuation.  However, in May 2019, the Full Court of the Federal Court overturned an earlier decision and determined that components of pay for ‘additional hours’ and public holiday work were not part of Ordinary Time Earnings and are not superable.  The Full Court’s approach is potentially of much wider application as to when there is a binding legal obligation to pay superannuation.

Partner, David Ey and Law Clerk, Daniel Bartlett discuss the decision and its implications in relation to superannuation contributions.

Federal Budget 2019: Key Tax Measures - Apr 2019

The 2019-20 Federal Budget delivers a budget surplus together with a raft of tax concessions aimed mostly at low to middle income earners. The tax concessions are achieved principally by way of changes to the low and middle income tax offset, varying tax brackets and increasing the Medicare low income thresholds.

Also of interest from a tax perspective in the budget was a commitment to $1.0 billion of ATO funding in relation to the Tax Avoidance Taskforce, and a deferral of the start date of proposed Division 7A changes from 1 July 2019 to 1 July 2020.

Below is a summary of the key taxation budget measures.

Fiscal Watch - Payroll Tax - Aug 2017

State and Territory Revenue Offices have become aggressive in chasing State taxes including payroll tax. This has been particularly so in relation to the areas of contracting and grouping.

Alan Jessup, Partner, provides insight into the latest Payroll Tax legislation issues.

Fiscal Watch - Land Tax – Land Banking - Aug 2017

It is not uncommon for developers to acquire tracts of farming land for future residential development. There is an exemption from land tax for land used for primary production.

In a recent case a developer had acquired large tracts of farming land for future residential development. It was common ground that the land was, at all material times, used for the maintenance of cattle for the purpose of selling them or their natural increase or bodily produce.

Alan Jessup, Partner, discusses the decisions of the Chief Commissioner and NSW Court of Appeal.

Fiscal Watch - Stamp Duty – Deceased Estates - Aug 2017

Nominal duty is only payable in respect of a transfer of dutiable property by the legal personal representative of a deceased person to a beneficiary in certain specified circumstances. In addition an acquisition by a person of an interest in a land holder is an exempt acquisition where it is acquired solely as a result of the distribution of a deceased person.

Alan Jessup, Partner, discusses the decision made by the Supreme Court. 

Fiscal Watch - Land Tax – Foreign Surcharge – Family Trusts - Aug 2017

If you have a family trust which owns residential land in NSW or proposes to acquire residential land in NSW you may need to amend your trust deed to avoid a land tax surcharge applicable to foreign persons.

In NSW, a foreign person who owns residential land in NSW, must pay a surcharge of 0.75% from the 2017 land tax year onwards. 

Alan JessupPartner, summarises the actions you must take to avoid a land tax surcharge applicable to foreign persons.

Foreign Ownership of Australian Water - Don't forget to register! - Jul 2017

Foreign persons (including temporary residents) who invest in Australian water now need to register their interest with the Australian Taxation Office. Senior Associate and Taxation Specialist Will Fennell discusses.

Taxation Bill to encourage innovation and investment in early stage companies released - Mar 2016

On Wednesday 16 March 2016, the Tax Laws Amendment (Tax Incentives for Innovation) Bill 2016 (Bill) was introduced into Parliament. The Bill is part of the Government’s $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda, containing proposed tax incentives for early stage investors and for venture capital investment.

The Government has consulted widely with investors, industry bodies, universities and the start-up community during the development of the Bill through the Tax Incentives for Early Stage Investors Policy Discussion Paper (see article: Defining criteria for tax incentives for early stage investors). However, notably, there was no public consultation process on exposure draft legislation. The acceleration echoes the intention to implement the measures with effect from 1 July 2016. 

Partner, David Cornwell, Partner, Alan Jessup, and Senior Associate, Kimberley Levi discuss the key aspects of the Bill.

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