Flight Centre $11 million penalty handed down; Fast-track tax system review welcomed: Midday Roundup

Flight Centre Travel Group has given an update on its 2013-14 fiscal outlook after penalties of $11 million were imposed on the company by the Federal Court.

Last year the company was found to have caused price-fixing between three airlines, with the penalty handed down in Brisbane today.

FLT managing director Graham Turner said in a statement the company would continue to trade normally.

“Last year’s test case outcome was disappointing, but has not created a need for fundamental changes within our business,” he said. “Any such changes that would have been required as a result of the judgement were made several years ago.”

Flight Centre expects to make a full-year profit before tax of between $370-385 million this financial year.

Fast-track tax system review welcomed

The Tax Institute has welcomed today’s announcement by the federal government that the Board of Taxation will conduct a fast-track review of aspects of the tax system that unreasonably affect small businesses.

In a joint press release with acting Assistant Treasurer Mathias Cormann and Minister for Small Business Bruce Wilson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Steven Ciobo said the government intended to “unshackle” the small business sector and “make life simpler for small business”.

In a statement, Michael Flynn, president of The Tax Institute, said the review is welcomed.

“There is significant work to be done in respect of simplifying existing tax laws to alleviate the compliance burden on small business,” he said.

The Board of Taxation will submit a report to the government before August 31.

Shares steady on open

Aussie shares have opened flat this morning, taking its lead from Wall Street.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up three points to 5353.1 at 12:23pm AEDT. Overnight the Dow Jones closed 4.76 points down, losing 0.03% to 16,264.23.

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