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  • Small Business Technical Working Group minutes 18 April 2018

    1. Welcome and introduction

    Deborah Jenkins, Deputy Commissioner Small Business opened the inaugural meeting of the Working Group, welcomed members and explained her role encompasses responsibility for the Small Business Experience in the ATO.

    Members were invited to introduce themselves and outline their experience and expertise in dealing with small business issues. ATO members provided detail about their role and areas of expertise.

    2. Statement of Intent

    Mathew Umina, Assistant Commissioner Small Business Experience, advised of the context for establishing the Small Business Technical Working Group (SBTWG) as a limited life group. In particular, he observed that the Working Group supplements the ATO’s existing formal consultation arrangement on small business issues, namely the Small Business Stewardship Group.

    Mathew led a discussion about the draft Statement of Intent that was circulated to members prior to the meeting. The statement of intent will govern the scope and working arrangements for the Working Group.

    The purpose of the Working Group will include identification and development of proposals that:

    • Improve willing participation by making it easier to comply
    • Red tape reduction proposals
    • Guidance material such as safe harbours
    • Alignment of tax treatment with commercial practices

    The Working Group may also be used to develop or progress proposals relating to:

    • the Board of Taxation Review of small business tax concessions
    • Implementation of the Government’s response to recommendations of the Black Economy Taskforce
    • Potential safe harbours for small business.

    The Working Group was established to focus on technical issues, noting that some issues may be appropriate for discussion at both the Small Business Stewardship Group and this Group.

    The Working Group will initially operate for 12 months and be reviewed at that time.

    Working Group updates will be provided to SBSG meetings.

    It was acknowledged that members play a significant role in disseminating key ATO communications to their members and clients with the right message at the right time.

    3. Strategic discussion of business

    A wide range of topics were canvassed for potential consideration by the Working Group over the next 12 months, including but not limited to:

    • Division 7A
    • Employee/contractor.

    Post meeting update: Members have been invited to provide further detail on the topics in a stocktake exercise to help to inform prioritising issues for future discussions.

    4. ATO and Treasury update

    Treasury update

    • The Federal Budget process is progressing.

    Post meeting update: Budget papers can be accessed hereExternal Link.

    • The Black Economy Task Force Final Report has been provided to the Government.

    Post meeting update: The Australian Government response to the Black Economy Taskforce Final Report can be accessed hereExternal Link.

    • Small business Capital Gains Tax (CGT) concessions

    On 9 May 2017 the Government announced that it would amend the small business CGT concessions to ensure that they can only be accessed in relation to assets used in a small business or ownership interests in a small business. The Treasury Laws Amendment (Tax Integrity and Other Measures) Bill 2018External Link was introduced to the House of Representatives on 28 March 2018.

    • Single Touch Payroll

    On 27 August 2017 the Government announced that Single Touch Payroll will be expanded to include employers with 19 or less employees from 1 July 2019. The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 4) Bill 2018External Link was introduced to the House of Representatives on 28 March 2018.

    ATO update

    John Shepherd, Assistant Commissioner Single Touch Payroll joined the meeting to provide a brief update about the implementation of Single Touch Payroll (STP). For substantial employers (with 20 or more employees) STP is mandatory from 1 July 2018.

    Employers will report payment details such as salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and superannuation information to the ATO from their payroll solution at the same time they pay their employees.

    Employers do not need to change their pay cycle – they can continue to pay their employees weekly, fortnightly or monthly. The time for remitting PAYG withholding amounts to the ATO has not changed.

    Single Touch Payroll reporting will be extended to include small employers (with 19 or fewer employees) from 1 July 2019 (subject to the passage of legislation). The ATO is undertaking a series of design workshops with tax agents, accountants/bookkeepers and small business owners to better describe the micro segment’s needs and develop a set of requirements which would best facilitate more tailored solutions for these businesses. Small business implementation of STP agreed as a standing item for SBTWG meetings.

    5. Meeting close

    Mathew Umina thanked members for their contributions and active participation in the discussion.

    The date and location of the 2018 meetings of the Working Group will be advised shortly.

    Meeting details

    Venue: ATO offices, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra

    Date: 18 April 2018

    Chair: Mathew Umina

    Contact: email Small Business Technical Working Group secretariat or phone (02) 62162759.

    Attendees

    Mathew Umina (Chair)Assistant Commissioner, Small Business Experience

    Deborah Jenkins Deputy Commissioner, Small Business

    Melanie Casey A/g Assistant Commissioner, Individuals

    Deborah Boyd Assistant Commissioner, Tax Counsel Network

    Kelly Canavan Assistant Commissioner, Indirect Tax

    Ann Hurst Assistant Commissioner, Review and Dispute Resolution

    Graham Whyte Assistant Commissioner, Superannuation

    Greg Derlacz Senior Advisor, Treasury

    Susan Franks Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

    (For Michael Croker)

    Tony Greco Institute of Public Accountants

    Gavan Ord CPA Australia

    (for Paul Drum)

    Matthew Addison Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

    Debra Anderson Anderson Tax & Consulting

    Leo Colgar Bright Accounting and Taxation Services

    Tania Waterhouse Waterhouse Lawyers

    Vanessa Priest Deloitte Private

    Apologies

    Michael Croker Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

    Dr Yongqiang Li Victoria University

    Paul Drum CPA Australia

    David Ebdon Tax & Super Australia

      Last modified: 19 Dec 2018QC 57673