Economy

Joe Hockey says SMEs will be the budget winners; Inspector-General of Tax to handle complaints about the ATO: Midday Roundup

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Innovative SMEs will be among the big winners in next month’s federal budget, according to Treasurer Joe Hockey.

After returning from a global trip that included New York and Israel, Hockey gave a speech at the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne in which he flagged further small business measures in next month’s budget.

Having already publicised a 1.5% reduction in the company tax rate, Hockey shared some of the lessons he learned while in Israel, which he says “is regarded as the ‘second Silicon valley’”, Fairfax reports.

Small Business Minister Bruce Billson previously told SmartCompany even unincorporated small businesses will receive tax relief in the budget, while the Greens have also come out in favour of cutting the company tax rate for small businesses, although the party also wants the Coalition to re-instate the instant asset write-off scheme and the loss carry-back scheme

 

Inspector-General of Tax to handle complaints about the ATO

 

The Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) will now handle thousands of complaints made about the Australian Tax Office, taking the task away from the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Inspector-General Ali Noroozi said in a statement today his office would consider and assist taxpayers with their complaints, as “as an independent and dedicated scrutineer of the ATO”.

Noroozi said the role change will enable the IGT them to keep an eye on emerging tax administration issues.

“Handling single complaints will provide my office with real-time insight into emerging problems and potentially head them off before they become systemic,” Noroozi said.

Last year the Ombudsman received 1369 complaints about the ATO.

“We will consider all complaints, from the simple to the complex, including those arising during audits, objections and litigation. Our goal is to ensure that taxpayers and tax practitioners are treated with fairness and respect,” Noroozi added.

 

Shares down

 

Local shares have opened lower this morning, ahead of the release of China HSBC Manufacturing data.

“The Australian sharemarket has opened the session struggling for direction, to as a mixed lead from overseas markets and commodities left the market flat ahead of key economic data out of China,” said Tristan K’Nell, head of trading at Quay Equities, in a statement.

“Across the market some positive sentiment rushing back into resource stocks this morning with spot iron ore surging overnight.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 2.5 points to 5835 points at 12:15pm AEST. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed up 0.49%, jumping 88.68 points to 18,038.3 points.

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