Australian businesses prepare for the new privacy regime
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New tax rules for living away from home (LAFH) benefits, including living away from home allowances (LAFHA), received Royal Assent last week, and apply from Monday 1 October 2012. The Australian Taxation Office has released a draft Taxation Determination TD 2012/D8 which sets out how it will determine the 'reasonable' gross cost of food for employees on assignment and transitional rules for the FBT year ended 31 March 2013.
ASIC has released a consultation paper on the conflicted remuneration provisions under the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation. Consultation Paper 189 (CP 189) invites public feedback with submissions due by 9 November 2012.
The Government has also finally released grandfathering regulations for payments by platforms. It has also indicated that it will not be making the draft grandfathering regulation released in May 2012.
The High Court of Australia has unanimously allowed an appeal by Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) and Andrew Forrest from last year's decision of the Full Federal Court. The High Court found that FMG's market announcements, that it had entered binding agreements with Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to build, transfer and finance its massive Pilbara infrastructure project, did not amount to misleading conduct.
The High Court's reasoning demands careful consideration, to assess the implications for market announcements and continuous disclosure. This analytical Alert supersedes our "stop press" Alert dated 2 October 2012.
Earlier today the High Court handed down its decision in the Fortescue Metals (FMG) and Andrew Forrest appeals against ASIC. The Court allowed the appeals, finding in favour of FMG and Mr Forrest.
The High Court has issued its much anticipated judgment as to whether Qantas is liable to pay GST on forfeited fares and on fares where the customer failed to claim an available refund for an unused ticket.
ASX has released a new Consultation Paper setting out draft amendments to the Listing Rules and new Guidance Notes regarding disclosure by mining and oil and gas companies listed on ASX of information regarding reserves and resources. In this Alert we provide an overview of the proposed new Listing Rules.
Now that it has finished 'raising the bar', the Federal government proposes to amend the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) to 'raise the step' required to meet the patentability standard for innovation patents.
On 16 July 2009, the Australian and New Zealand Governments entered into the Trans-Tasman Retirement Savings Portability Arrangement (Arrangement).
The Arrangement was stated as having the intention of enhancing a seamless trans-Tasman labour market by providing the ability for retirement savings to be transferred between an Australian complying superannuation fund and a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme, with minimal compliance and administration costs. The Arrangement is subject to a number of restrictions, as outlined in the Arrangement document.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released two draft Tax Determinations relevant to the sale of assets in the course of a receivership. These express the view that receivers have an obligation to retain sufficient funds from the gross sales proceeds to pay tax 'which is or will become due' on such asset sales. This applies even if no tax assessment has yet been issued. This obligation is said to 'take precedence' over obligations to secured creditors.
On 19 September 2012, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) released the ASX BookBuild: Bringing Efficiency, Fairness and Transparency to the Primary Equity Market (Consultation Paper) regarding ASX BookBuild. ASX BookBuild is an automated on-market service that ASX proposes to introduce to provide issuers with an alternative to off-market bookbuild processes when conducting capital raisings.
ASIC has revisited the long standing guidance contained in Regulatory Guide 134: Managed investments: Constitutions and released Consultation Paper 188: Managed investments: Constitutions – Updates to RG 134.
The Assistant Treasurer has announced that because the legislation to establish the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) had not been passed in the house, and the Senate will not resume until 9 October, the start date of the ACNC will no longer be 1 October 2012
On 17 September 2012, ASIC released a consultation paper in relation to proposed guidance on effective disclosure in operating and financial reviews (OFRs).
The aim of the proposed guidance is to promote the better communication of useful and meaningful information to investors, and to assist directors in understanding and complying with the OFR disclosure requirements. In particular, ASIC expects the OFR to elaborate on the financial report by providing clear and insightful narrative and analysis in relation to an entity’s historical and expected future performance.
On 19 September 2012, the Federal Government introduced the Migration Amendment (Reform of Employer Sanctions) Bill into Parliament. The Bill targets employers who knowingly or unknowingly employ illegal workers, and implements the Government's response to the 2010 Howells Review into the effectiveness of the existing employer sanctions regime.
This morning, the Senate passed the Bill containing the proposed living-away-from-home (LAFH) tax changes without further amendment. It is expected the Bill will receive Royal Assent in coming days, so the new tax rules for LAFH concessions should apply on schedule, from 1 October 2012.
The Commissioner of Taxation has been successful in using a garnishee notice in a novel way to take priority over a secured creditor on the disposal of secured property. While garnishee notices issued after the commencement of a winding up have previously been ruled to be invalid, garnishee notices may in certain circumstances still prevent secured creditors receiving the proceeds of the sale of a secured asset.
On 13 September 2012, the Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 (the Bill) was introduced into the Queensland Parliament. The Bill proposes amendments to a number of pieces of legislation, including the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) (SPA), the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995 (Qld) and the Water Act 2000 (Qld).
A Bill to amend the Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic) has been introduced into the Victorian Parliament.
When the Bill becomes law, it will remove the requirement to notify the Small Business Commissioner of new leases under section 25 of the Act.
Last week's State Budget included the announcement of several duty and royalty changes. Also last week the Queensland Government passed the Fiscal Repair Amendment Act 2012 which will apply duty to direct and indirect transfers of interests in resource exploration tenements, increase the top marginal duty rate and expand the definition of 'land'.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released a report (298) on its review of the adequacy of risk management systems adopted by responsible entities (REs) of registered managed investment schemes.