Media Releases

Confirming the meaning of superannuation income stream benefit

7 December 2018

The Morrison Government has amended the Income Tax Assessment Regulations 1997 (ITAR 1997) to confirm the meaning of ‘superannuation income stream benefit’. The determination of whether a superannuation benefit is a superannuation lump sum or superannuation income stream benefit is a key factor in determining the tax treatment of the superannuation benefit. This amendment allows […]

Work test exemption for recent retirees

7 December 2018

I am pleased to announce that regulations to give recent retirees an extra year to contribute to superannuation have been made by the Federal Executive Council. This measure will boost older Australians’ confidence in their financial security by providing additional flexibility to contribute to superannuation in the transition to retirement. The work test exemption was […]

Board of Taxation review into granny flat arrangements

29 November 2018

The Morrison Government has requested the Board of Taxation undertake a review of the tax treatment of granny flat arrangements and recommend any potential changes. This review is in response to the 2017 Australian Law Reform Commission’s Report: Elder Abuse - a National Legal Response, which identified the development of formal and legally enforceable family […]

Backing small business – easier, cheaper and quicker access to resolve tax disputes

29 November 2018

The Liberal National Government will make it easier, cheaper and quicker for small businesses to resolve tax disputes with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison last night, this builds on a series of initiatives designed to support small and medium businesses in Australia. These businesses have told us disputes with […]

Government continues to modernise business registers

28 November 2018

The Morrison Government is continuing to consult on the modernisation of business registers by undertaking a review of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC) registry fees. The modernisation of business registers will transform the way businesses interact with government. These reforms will make it easier and faster to start and run a business and […]

Government calls on business to exempt vulnerable consumers from paper billing fees

28 November 2018

The Morrison Government is calling on businesses to take action to promote their exemption programs for paper billing fees to reduce the number of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers paying fees to receive paper bills. At the recent Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs, Ministers from the Commonwealth, states and territories agreed to provide a […]

Government consults to improve black economy offences and enforcement

22 November 2018

The Morrison Government is determined to help honest Australians and their businesses by disrupting the black economy and its unfair advantages. The consultation paper released today is another step towards implementing the Government’s response to the recommendations of the Black Economy Taskforce final report, as announced part of the 2018-19 Budget. The black economy is […]

Commencement of the review of UCTs for small businesses

22 November 2018

The Morrison Government is undertaking a review of the current legislative protections provided to small businesses regarding unfair contract terms (UCTs), as part of the Government’s dedication to ensuring small businesses are effectively protected. Feedback received will assist the Government to determine whether the legislative protections are performing as intended and whether enhancements are required […]

Consultation on draft proposals for reform of the early release of superannuation rules

21 November 2018

Today I’ve publicly released a consultation paper on changes to the rules governing the early release of superannuation benefits on compassionate grounds and financial hardship grounds. The draft proposals are informed by the findings from the first round of consultation on changes to the early release of superannuation rules. The consultation paper seeks views on: […]

Improving visibility of superannuation assets in family law proceedings

21 November 2018

Women will get a better deal in accessing superannuation assets at the end of a relationship as a consequence of a new information-sharing initiative announced today as part of the Coalition Government’s Women’s Economic Security Package. $3.3 million will be provided to the Australian Taxation Office to develop an electronic information-sharing system to ensure the family […]

Have your say on Grocery Unit Pricing

21 November 2018

The Morrison Government wants to hear from people and retailers whether the requirement to display the unit price of grocery staples, together with the “headline” price, needs reconsideration, before the current law lapses in October 2019. Those grocery retailers that are subject to the Retail Grocery Industry (Unit Pricing) Code of Conduct (the Code) must […]

Enhancing the economic independence of women

20 November 2018

The Morrison Government has announced new measures supporting women’s economic independence and increase women’s workforce participation, reaffirming its commitment to improving the economic wellbeing of women. The Government has already taken decisive action to improve the economic security of women, and is further enhancing it by extending early release of superannuation to victims of domestic […]

Increasing integrity in Government procurement

20 November 2018

The Morrison Government is protecting honest businesses by increasing integrity in Government procurement processes. From 1 July 2019, businesses seeking to tender for Commonwealth Government procurement contracts over $4 million (inclusive of GST) must provide a statement from the Australian Taxation Office to show they have a satisfactory tax record. Draft guidelines on Government Procurement […]

Morrison Government strengthens NHFIC

19 November 2018

The Morrison Government has strengthened the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), ensuring Australia is responsive to potential demand for bond aggregator lending to provide cheaper and longer-term finance for affordable housing. The new laws makes explicit that the Board of NHFIC must have an appropriate balance of qualifications, skills and experience in a […]

Strengthening competition in the financial system

19 November 2018

The Morrison Government continues to demonstrate its commitment to improving competition in the financial sector, with legislation relaxing the restriction on ownership of banks and insurers as well as introducing a new streamlined approval path under the Financial Sector (Shareholdings) Act 1998 (FSSA) passing Parliament. These changes significantly reduce barriers to entry that are preventing […]

Legislation passed to target the black economy and illicit tobacco

19 November 2018

The final piece of legislation designed to strengthen the Government’s response to illicit tobacco has passed through Parliament. The Morrison Government has enacted the Treasury Laws Amendment (Black Economy Taskforce Measures No. 2) Bill 2018 and the Excise Tariff Amendment (Collecting Tobacco Duties at Manufacture) Bill 2018. Together, these Bills complement legislation passed by the […]

FASEA consultations

17 November 2018

The Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, welcomes the release of the details by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) of its revised standards framework for financial advisers following stakeholder consultation. “These standards are an important part of the Morrison Government’s commitment to raising the education, training and ethical standards of financial […]

Consultation on tax implication of AASB17 and other insurance tax issues

5 November 2018

Today I’ve released a paper for public consultation on the adoption of a new accounting standard for insurance contracts (AASB17), which will apply mandatorily for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2021. The consultation will inform the Government’s consideration of whether and what changes may be needed to the tax law as […]

Thanking the Inspector-General of Taxation

5 November 2018

On behalf of the Morrison Government and the public, I take this opportunity to thank Mr Ali Noroozi and acknowledge his 10 years of service as the Inspector-General of Taxation. Mr Noroozi has shown exemplary leadership since his appointment in 2008, undertaking more than 30 reviews across a broad range of issues, including Australian Taxation […]

Retirement income covenant and ensuring a fair and effective superannuation system

31 October 2018

The Morrison Government has announced new technical changes to address some minor but important issues that affect retirees. The Government is correcting an error in the way that market-linked pensions are valued under the transfer balance cap when they are commuted or rolled over, resulting in a nil debit. This will ensure that an individual’s […]

One-stop-shop for financial complaints opens for business

31 October 2018

Australian consumers and small businesses will be spared the expense and inconvenience associated with taking financial complaints to court, with the Coalition Government's Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) opening for business as of Thursday 1 November 2018. This new one-stop shop represents a new era for financial dispute resolution, delivering free, fast and binding services […]

Grocery Code review calls for fairer dispute resolution for suppliers

30 October 2018

The Australian Government today welcomes the release of Professor Graeme Samuel AC's final report on the Review of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct (the Review). The Government commissioned the Review on 2 March 2018 to examine how effective the voluntary code has been in regulating proper commercial dealings between supermarket retailers or wholesalers […]

Australia and New Zealand sign Trans-Tasman e-Invoicing arrangement

25 October 2018

The Australian and New Zealand Governments formalised an arrangement on e-Invoicing today to set out how the two countries will create and maintain a common approach. The Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Stuart Robert MP and the New Zealand Minister for Small Business, the Hon Stuart Nash MP met in a ceremony at Parliament House this […]

Government to review extension of unfair contract terms to small business

23 October 2018

The Government will review the effectiveness of protections for small business against unfair contract terms (UCTs). The UCT protections for small business have been in place since 12 November 2016. Two years on, the Government wants to ensure that the framework is operating effectively and that appropriate levels of protection are afforded to small businesses. The Treasury […]

Government releases regulations to improve outcomes for people

23 October 2018

Today I released for consultation exposure draft regulations which are an important part of the financial product Design and Distribution Obligations and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Product Intervention Power reform package. The regulations support the Government's proposed reforms which are designed to ensure that financial products are targeted and sold to the right […]

New legislation to further target illicit tobacco

23 October 2018

Legislation passed through Parliament last week will further strengthen the Government’s response to illicit tobacco. This will remove a key source of illicit tobacco and reduce the incentive for organised crime to target licensed warehouses. The Customs Amendment (Collecting Tobacco Duties at the Border) Bill will require duties on tobacco to be paid as soon […]

Consultation on improvements to Division 7A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936

22 October 2018

The Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, today released for public consultation a paper on the amendments to improve the integrity and operation of Division 7A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936. Division 7A is an integrity rule that is designed to prevent shareholders from using private company profits without paying tax at […]

Consultation on exemptions to gift card reforms

22 October 2018

The Government is seeking feedback on proposed regulations which will support the gift card reforms currently before the Parliament. The Government's gift card reforms set a minimum expiry period of three years to ensure consumers have a reasonable period of time in which to use gift cards. The reforms also ban unfair post-purchase fees and […]

ACCC & ASIC given stronger powers over unfair contract terms

19 October 2018

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will have investigative powers to assess whether a term in a standard form contract may be unfair, thanks to measures passed in the Parliament by the Coalition Government yesterday. This means the regulators will have stronger powers to ensure consumers […]

Government consults on e-Invoicing governance arrangements

17 October 2018

The Australian and New Zealand Governments are seeking comment on how electronic invoicing (e-Invoicing) arrangements can be best managed in both countries by releasing a public consultation paper today. E-Invoicing helps businesses save time and money by allowing the direct exchange of invoices between suppliers' and buyers' financial systems. This consultation paper will use public […]

Government consults on additional legislation to modernise business registers

16 October 2018

The Government today released the second part of the draft legislation to allow the modernisation of business registers and to provide better support for businesses in an evolving digital economy. "This consultation is another important step in improving existing business registry services to make it easier for businesses to transact with government," Assistant Treasurer the […]

Consultation on extending support to craft brewers and distillers

16 October 2018

Today, the Government released draft legislation that will extend the concessional draught beer excise rate to smaller kegs, typically used by craft brewers. Currently, draught beer sold in kegs exceeding 48 litres is taxed at lower rates compared with beer sold in smaller kegs. Extending the concessional draught beer excise rates to kegs of 8 […]

Enhancing the integrity of tax deductions in relation to vacant land: exposure draft legislation

15 October 2018

The Government is improving the integrity of the tax system by denying certain deductions for expenses associated with holding vacant land. Draft legislation released today for public consultation limits deductions for expenses associated with holding vacant land from 1 July 2019. This measure was announced in the 2018-19 Budget, and addresses concerns that deductions are […]

Corporate Collective Investment Vehicle Bill – Tranche 3

15 October 2018

The Government has released for public consultation the third tranche of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Corporate Collective Investment Vehicle) Bill 2018 and related explanatory materials. The Corporate Collective Investment Vehicle (CCIV) is an investment vehicle intended to be recognisable to overseas investors. Strong investor protections will be in place for retail CCIVs including the requirement […]

Trading names to continue to be displayed for a further five years

15 October 2018

The Government is giving businesses more time to register a business name by extending the display of trading names on ABN Lookup. “Although all businesses have been required to register a business name since 2012, many small businesses have continued to operate with a trading name under transitional arrangements that were set to expire on […]

Improving the integrity of the tax treatment of concessional loans

12 October 2018

The Government has released for public consultation exposure draft legislation and accompanying explanatory material to improve the integrity of the tax treatment of concessional loans, as announced in the 2018-19 Budget. Currently, when a tax exempt entity become taxable (for example via a privatisation), loans issued on concessional terms can unintentionally give rise to a […]

Enhancing the integrity of concessions in relation to partnerships: exposure draft legislation released

12 October 2018

The Government is ensuring that partners in partnerships cannot inappropriately access the small business capital gains tax (CGT) concessions when dealing in rights that alienate future income from the partnership. As announced in the 2018-19 Budget this measure applies from 7:30pm on 8 May 2018. Draft legislation, released today for public consultation, denies access to […]

Extending anti-avoidance rules for circular trust distributions: exposure draft legislation released

12 October 2018

The Government today released for public consultation draft legislation that extends to family trusts a specific anti-avoidance rule that applies to other closely held trusts that engage in circular trust distributions. Currently, where family trusts act as beneficiaries of each other in a ‘round robin’ arrangement, a distribution can be ultimately returned to the original […]

Consultation on work test exemption

2 October 2018

The Government has released draft legislation to give eligible older Australians additional flexibility to contribute more into superannuation as they move into retirement. Currently people aged 65-74 must work a minimum of 40 hours in any 30-day period in the financial year in order to keep making contributions to superannuation – this is known as […]

Legislation to modernise business registers and introduce Director Identification Numbers released for consultation

1 October 2018

The Government released draft legislation today to allow the modernisation of business registers and to provide better support for businesses in an evolving digital economy. “Modernising the business registers will help transform the way business interacts with government, making it easier and faster to start and run a business. These reforms will support open data […]

Government consults on stronger penalties for corporate and financial sector misconduct

26 September 2018

The Coalition Government is committed to ensuring the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has the powers it needs to take strong action to protect consumers from corporate and financial sector misconduct. Draft legislation to strengthen penalties for corporate and financial sector misconduct has been released by the Government for public consultation. The proposed changes […]

Labor delays greater competition and consumer protections in financial services

21 September 2018

Labor is delaying the establishment of a mandatory comprehensive credit reporting system that would increase competition and enhance consumer outcomes in the financial services sector, despite the major banks already voluntarily getting on board. The measure will give lenders access to a deeper, richer set of data enabling them to better assess a borrower’s true […]

Making sure foreign investors and multinationals pay their fair share of tax

21 September 2018

The Coalition Government is taking strong action to protect the integrity of Australia’s tax system, with the introduction of two bills that will further ensure that those who do business in Australia, pay tax in Australia. The introduction of Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Sure Foreign Investors Pay their Fair Share of Tax in Australia and […]

Government introduces law to improve outcomes for financial consumers

20 September 2018

Today the Government introduced into the Parliament important legislation designed to ensure that financial products are targeted and sold to the right consumers. “Design and Distribution Obligations and the Product Intervention Power are about ensuring a customer‑centric approach to product design, marketing and distribution. We have undertaken an extensive consultation process, and carefully listened to […]

Gift card reforms to benefit consumers

20 September 2018

The Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs have voted to implement nationally consistent reforms to gift card expiry. Consumers are frustrated with gift cards expiring before they can use them. These reforms will put in place a national framework to ensure that consumers have at least three years to use their gift cards. The […]

Improving the managed investment trust regime and repeal of intellectual property exception

20 September 2018

Today the Morrison Government introduced legislation into Parliament to improve Australia’s taxation regime for the managed funds industry. The legislation provides for a package of technical amendments that will clarify the tax law in relation to attribution managed investment trusts. “These amendments are important reforms as they will provide industry with increased investment certainty,” Assistant […]

New bill to tackle the black economy

20 September 2018

The Government has taken decisive action in the fight against the black economy. Today, I introduced Bills into Parliament targeting black economy activities – the non-compliance of entities with their reporting and withholding obligations, non-reporting or understating of income by contractors, and illicit tobacco. The Government is committed to a fair tax system that supports […]

Cracking down on the black economy

18 September 2018

The Coalition Government has today delivered on the first of its commitments to tackle the black economy and further protect the integrity of our tax system, with the passage of tough new laws that ban software allowing businesses to understate their sales and income. Electronic sales suppression tools allow businesses to falsify electronic record keeping […]

Passage of government’s action to enhance ASIC’s capabilities

18 September 2018

The Morrison Government is committed to delivering strong and effective regulators to govern our financial system. This is the best way to ensuring that Australia’s financial system both protects and meets the needs of Australian consumers and investors. The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing ASIC’s Capabilities) Bill 2018 successfully passed through the Parliament last night. These […]