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Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across Australia’s finance sector.

The initiative provides women with grants to enable participation in a range of leadership development programs.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has issued a reminder that July monthly Business Activity Statements (BAS) will be the first that qualifying businesses will be able to lodge using the new Simpler BAS reporting arrangements.

CHANGES TO FUEL TAX CREDIT RATES

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Fuel Tax Credit rates changed on 1 July 2017 and again on 1 August 2017.

Fuel tax credit rates changes are indexed twice a year, in February and August, in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Rates may also change in July for fuel used in a heavy vehicle for travelling on public roads. This is due to changes to the road user charge, which is reviewed annually. Rates also change in July due to an annual increase in excise duty rates on biofuels.

The Treasury has begun consultations on the replacement of the Taxation Administration Regulations 1976, which are due to expire on 1 October because of ‘sunset’ provisions.

A statement on the Treasury website says the regulations need to be remade “so they continue to support the administration of Australia’s tax laws”.

The Government has announced it plans to legislate to close a loophole which it says could be used by unscrupulous employers to short change employees who choose to make salary sacrifice contributions into their superannuation accounts.
The change was recommended by the Superannuation Guarantee Cross Agency Working Group.

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, has announced that the Government will introduce legislation to give fund members more power over their superannuation providers.

The changes will require MySuper and other funds to hold members’ annual general meetings and to publish greater disclosure information about fees and decision making processes.

The Federal Government has commissioned an independent review to recommend the best approach to implement an Open Banking regime in Australia, with the report due by the end of 2017.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said: “Open Banking is about giving Australians greater access to their own banking data and has the potential to transform the way in which Australians interact with the banking system.”

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has announced it will automatically remit or refund any penalties for late lodgments associated with its most recent IT outage on 5 July, coinciding with the peak tax return season and the start of ‘Tax Time’.

The ATO has been severely embarrassed by the outage which came on the same day as a major address by Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan to publicise the start of the tax return season.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has announced details of its 2017-18 BAS Agent lodgment program including lodgment and payment concessions when eligible quarterly business activity statements are lodged electronically, and a lodgment concession for PAYG.

The value of Commonwealth penalty units for offences and charges covered by Commonwealth penalty units has increased from 1 July 2017.

From 1 July 2017, a Commonwealth penalty unit will increase from $180 to $210.

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