Daily Update – 28 March 2022

Review of tax treatment of crypto assets
As part of the Government’s proposal for new crypto asset licensing and custody requirements, the Government has also released the terms of reference for a review by the Board of Taxation into the appropriate policy framework for the taxation of digital transactions and assets such as crypto. The review is being conducted on the basis it will not increase the overall tax burden. The Board is asked to report back by the end of 2022.

NSW: Small business fees and charges rebate increases to $3000
The NSW Government has announced that the Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate will increase from $2000 to $3000 from 25 March 2022. In addition, eligible employing businesses and not-for-profit organisations will also be able to claim a rebate of 50% on the cost of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs). Once approved, businesses will be provided with a $3,000 digital voucher in their Business Profile which applicants can claim against. Eligible businesses can simply lodge their proof of payment and the 50% expenditure on RATs will be reimbursed back into bank accounts.

Alternative assessments: Commissioner’s actions “oppressive”
In an application brought by taxpayers under the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth), the Federal Court has ruled that the Commissioner had acted with “oppressive conduct”. The “oppressive conduct” amounted to the Commissioner seeking to enforce recovery of debts due under alternative assessments in respect of the same trust income prior to the final resolution of a dispute about the correctness of the alternative assessments. It was also contended that the tax in dispute had already been paid by a related party. The amounts in dispute amounted to over $18m in taxable. (Hyder v FCT [2022] FCA 264, 22 March 2022).

Quality of financial advice review – consultation
The independent reviewer appointed by the Government to lead the Quality of Advice Review, has released an issues paper seeking feedback on how the regulatory framework can better enable the provision of high quality, accessible and affordable financial advice for retail investors. This consultation also aims to identify opportunities to streamline and simplify regulatory compliance obligations to reduce cost and remove duplication, recognising that costs of compliance by businesses are ultimately borne by consumers. More information about the Quality of Advice Review, including the Terms of Reference, and the issues paper is available on the Treasury website, here.

More independence for the Tax Practitioners Board
The Government has advised that in accordance with recommendation 3.2 of the review of the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) it has taken steps to continue to enhance the TPB’s independence. It states that it has secured the Commissioner of Taxation’s agreement to delegate the power to appoint the TPB’s Chief Executive Officer to the TPB Chair. This means decisions about the day-to-day operations and overall direction of the TPB secretariat will effectively be under the control of the Chair. This delegation ensures the CEO’s direct accountability to the Board, as recommended by the Review of the TPB.

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