AAT to be replaced by new body
The Federal Government has announced that the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) will be abolished and replaced with a new federal administrative review body. The purpose of the reform include, among other things, providing additional capacity to enable the rapid resolution of existing backlogs and to implement consistent funding and remuneration arrangements to enable the new system to respond flexibly to fluctuating case numbers. At the same time, as part of the reform, the Government has developed new AAT Appointment Guidelines. Under the Guidelines, all vacancies must be advertised and applicants will be assessed against clear criteria by an appropriately constituted panel.

NSW: Payroll tax applies to security guard subcontracting arrangement 
The NSW Court of Appeal has unanimously allowed the appeal of the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue and found that a company was liable for payroll tax in relation to security guard services it provided to customers. The taxpayer provided security services to its customers via unrelated subcontracting companies whereby the security guards, as subcontractors, were paid by related entities of the taxpayer. Among other things, the Court found that the “employment agency contract” provisions in the Payroll Tax Act 2007 (NSW) applied to the arrangement for the purposes of assessing payroll tax liability. (Chief Commer of State Revenue v E Group Security Pty Ltd (No 2) [2022] NSWCA 259, 13 December 2022.)

MBA did not meet education requirements for tax-agent registration
The AAT has confirmed that a person was not entitled to an unrestricted registration as a tax agent because he had not satisfied the relevant education requirements. In issue was whether a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from an Australian university met these requirements. In examining the MBA degree and units considered as a whole, the AAT found that only three out of 13 units were relevant to his application for registration. Accordingly, the AAT ruled that the relevant eligibility requirements had not been satisfied. (Gupta and Tax Practitioners Board [2022] AATA 4226, 12 December 2022.)

Registration of financial advisers – 6 month delay
The Corporations Amendment (Registration of Relevant Providers) Regulations 2022 has been made. It amends the Corporations Regulations 2001 to delay the requirement for financial services licensees to register financial advisers on the Financial Advisers Register for six months to 1 July 2023.

APRA: MySuper Heatmap
APRA has released its 2022 MySuper Heatmap. The Heatmap evaluates every MySuper product’s performance in the areas of investment returns, fees and costs and long-term sustainability of member outcomes. Key insights from the MySuper Heatmap include: a fall in fees and costs for most MySuper products (ie, 8.1m members or 56% of member accounts have experienced a drop in fees and costs); 28 MySuper products have closed since APRA released the first heatmap in 2019; and 350,000 fewer members are in MySuper products with “significantly poor” investment performance than in 2021.



NSW: Reform to casino tax rates
The NSW government has announced that casino tax rates will be increased. The proposed increases are anticipated to commence on 1 July 2023 and include tax rates on what the casinos earn from gaming tables and poker machines.

Draft instrument: Reporting period for electronic distribution networks
The ATO has issued exposure draft instrument Taxation Administration (Reporting by Electronic Distribution Platform Operators) Legislative Instrument 2022. It will amend the annual reporting period of electronic distribution platform operators to a 6-monthly reporting period. Date of effect: Various dates depending on the nature of the transaction.

Woman sentenced after stealing millions from super accounts
The Australian Federal Police have advised that a Melbourne woman has been sentenced for her role in a major international criminal syndicate, which stole millions of dollars from the superannuation and share trading accounts of victims using fraud and identity theft. The amount stolen through the fraudulent scheme is estimated to be in excess of $3.3m. The woman was sentenced to 5 years and 6 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 4 years.



PCG re “central management and control test of residency” to be released
The ATO is expected this week to release PCG 2018/9 Central management and control test of residency: identifying where a company’s central management and control is located. It will extend and provide confirmation of the end of the transitional compliance approach period that applies to enable eligible foreign incorporated companies to change their governance arrangements so that their central management and control is exercised outside Australia by the end of the period.

Legislative relief to facilitate employee share schemes
The ASIC Corporations (Employee Share Schemes) Instrument 2022/1021 has been made. Among other things, the instrument will provide: a broader exemption for secondary sales of financial products that are quoted on a financial market; more options for the financial information that foreign companies can provide ESS participants; the ability to provide an expert valuation of ESS interests that are not ordinary shares; and technical relief so that salary sacrificing arrangements can comply with the requirements for contribution plans. See also ASIC media release, here.

ATO list of public guidance and advice completed in 2022
The ATO has released information on public advice and guidance issues have been completed in 2022. The list includes over 30 matters, and can be found here.

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