The government will not proceed with proposed tax disclosure laws, which means around 800 private companies will not have to publish details of their taxable income and the amount of they pay.
The changes were pushed through the Senate last night and are a blow to transparency, according to the Labor Party and the Tax Justice Network.
However Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hit back at Labor during Question Time yesterday, according to Fairfax, saying the tax disclosure laws were discriminatory towards “medium-sized” companies.
This is despite the fact that many of the companies affected by the tax disclosure rules are owned or founded by individuals on the BRW Rich List.
“[Labor’s laws] had nothing to do with gathering tax,” Turnbull said.
“What it was calculated to do, however, was to prejudice medium-sized Australian private companies as against big multinationals and public listed companies.”
ASIC bans former financial advisor for Westpac subsidiary
The corporate watchdog has permanently banned a former employee of a Westpac subsidiary from providing financial advice.
Amanda Ritchie was a former financial adviser of Magnitude Group in Shepparton but was dismissed in August last year after an internal investigation.
Westpac reported these concerns to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, which found Ritchie had created false bank statements, emails and letters in order to deceive clients.
The former financial advisor was also found to have transferred funds from clients’ accounts without authorisation.
ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said the case should serve as a lesson to financial advisers who are considering doing the wrong thing.
“The investing public needs to be able to trust those who provide financial services,” Kell said.
“ASIC will act to ensure advisers who flout the law and who disregard their legal obligations are removed from the financial services industry.”
SmartCompany was unable to contact Ritchie for comment however the former financial adviser has the right to appeal the decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Shares up on open
Aussie shares have nudged higher this morning off the back of positive jobs data from the US and a strong performance from Wall Street.
Ric Spooner, chief market analyst for CMC Markets, said local investors will be encouraged to push share prices higher this morning.
“Last night’s economic releases reversed the recent run of softer US economic data,” Spooner said.
“Jobless claims fell, indicating that although jobs growth may have fallen recently, employers are hanging onto existing staff as the economy continues to expand.
“If the ASX200 index rallies today, it will move back within sight of key resistance at around 5300.”
The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was up 47.2 points, rising 0.89% to 5277.2 points at 11:34am AEST. On Thursday, the Dow Jones closed 217 points higher, up 1.28% to 17,141.75 points.