ATO: Super data update: lost, unclaimed, multiple accounts etc
The ATO has advised that it has updated its super data up to 30 June 2022 which includes the number and value of accounts for both lost (fund-held) and unclaimed (ATO-held) super. The ATO said that this year’s release of data highlights updated information on the newer categories of Unclaimed Super Money (namely, Inactive Low Balance Accounts, Eligible Rollover Funds and Trustee Voluntary Payments) – and that, as a result, the number and value of unclaimed super has increased with the introduction of these new categories.

Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets: ATO draft regs released
As part of the Government’s release of draft regulations that would prescribe circumstances in which foreign persons will be required to provide information to be included on the “Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets” under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975, the ATO has also released Draft Legislative Instrument LI 2023/D2 which sets out the proposed data standards and technical requirements for submitting information to the new Register. The new Register will be administered by the Commissioner of Taxation and is proposed to start on 1 July 2023.

APRA response to consultation on the SDT amendments
APRA has released a response to the consultation on minor amendments to reporting standards introduced under Phase 1 of the Superannuation Data Transformation (SDT) project. They clarify investment option reporting and expenses reporting; reduce frequency of reporting for some requirements; and increase the time for submission of data for some requirements.



Proposed improvements to Corporations and Financial Services Law
The Government has released 2 sets of exposure draft regulations to help reduce the complexity of Australia’s corporations and financial services laws, by making Treasury portfolio regulations more adaptive, efficient, and navigable within existing policy settings. The draft regulations support the regulatory stewardship of Treasury portfolio legislation. In releasing the draft regulations, the government pursues regular improvement and maintenance opportunities under this program to ensure Treasury laws remain current and fit-for-purpose. The government welcomes feedback from stakeholders on the draft regulations and explanatory material. Submission due by 3 April 2023.

Draft leg: Concessional treatment of ACCU for primary producers
The Government has released draft legislation to give effect to its 2022‑23 Budget announcement to provide concessional tax treatment to certain primary producers that generate revenue from the sale of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs). Under the proposed measures eligible primary producers will be able to treat the net proceeds from the sale of ACCUs they first held on or after 1 July 2022 as primary production income for the purposes of the Farm Management Deposit (FMD) scheme and accessing income tax averaging. The taxing point for ACCUs held by eligible primary producers will also be set to the point of sale, instead of being taxed based on changes in the value of their ACCUs each income year. Comment on the proposed measures are due by 17 March 2023.

ATO: Successor and intra fund transfer reporting protocol available
The ATO has released its “successor and intra fund transfer reporting protocol” which  provides technical guidance on a range of aspects to help funds manage change and reduce the impact to members, during and after a successor fund transfer (SFT) or an intra fund transfer (IFT). The protocol was recently updated to include: IFT guidance; a new section on limited-service period (also known as black-out periods); detailed guidance on actioning release authorities; tips and useful links for Digital Identity Management and Access Manager and detailed guidance on Transfer Balance Account Reports and actioning Commissioner’s commutation authorities.



Financial Accountability Regime Bill 2023 introduced
The Financial Accountability Regime Bill 2023 has been introduced into Parliament this morning [Wednesday 8 March 2023]. It introduces a new accountability regime (the Regime) for the banking, insurance and superannuation industries. Among other things, it delas with the following matters:

  • entities regulated under the Regime;
  • obligations of accountable persons under the Regime;
  • obligations of accountable entities under the Regime;
  • administration of the Regime;
  • ensuring compliance of the obligations imposed under the Regime; and
  • enforcement and penalties.

At the same time, the Financial Accountability Regime (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2023 has been introduced into Parliament. It makes consequential amendments to relevant Acts to support the Financial Accountability Regime.

Date of effect: The Financial Accountability Regime Bill 2023 commences the day after Royal Assent. The regime will apply to the banking industry six months after commencement of the Financial Accountability Regime Bill 2023 and to any new entrants beyond that, from the time they become an ADI or a non-operating holding company. The regime will apply to the insurance and superannuation industries 18 months after commencement of the Financial Accountability Regime Bill 2023, and to any new entrants beyond that, from the time they become licensed. The Financial Accountability Regime (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2023 broadly commences at the same times.

Compensation Scheme of Last Resort Bills introduced
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Financial Services Compensation Scheme of Last Resort) Bill 2023, and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme of Last Resort Levy Bill 2023 and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme of Last Resort Levy (Collection) Bill 2023 have been introduced into Parliament this morning [Wednesday 8 March 2023]. Together, they establish the Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR) which is intended to support confidence in the financial system’s external dispute resolution framework.

Specifically, the CSLR provides for compensation to be paid to a consumer where a determination issued by Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) remains unpaid and the determination relates to a financial product or service within the scope of the scheme. The Commonwealth will fund the establishment of the scheme and part of its initial operation. A levy will be imposed on parts of the financial services industry to fund the scheme’s ongoing operation.

Date of effect: The establishment of the CSLR and the supporting levy framework commences on the day these Acts receive the Royal Assent. However, the operator of the scheme can begin to make compensation payments to eligible consumers after the commencement of the first levy period.

ATO: Deductible gift recipient revocations are commencing
The ATO has issued a reminder that most non-government deductible gift recipients (DGRs) needed to be a registered charity by 14 December 2022 to remain eligible for DGR endorsement. In this regard, the ATO further said that an eligible DGR must: meet the definition of an Australian government agency; be a registered charity; be operated by a registered charity or an Australian government agency; or be an ancillary fund or a DGR that is listed by name in tax legislation. The ATO emphasised that if a DGR doesn’t meet eligibility requirements and hasn’t been approved by the ATO for a 3-year extension, it will have its DGR status revoked. The DGR will receive a notice with the date, reason for revocation and their right to review the decision.

ATO: Latest General interest charge (GIC) rates
The ATO has released information on the latest general interest charge (GIC) rates for April 2023 to June 2023 and when GIC applies to late payments. The information deals with the following matters: when GIC applies; how GIC is calculated and quarterly GIC rates.



Financial reform Bills introduced on 8 March 2023 – note
The 5 financial reform Bills introduced into Parliament yesterday [see Daily Update, Wed 8 March] had been previously introduced into Parliament last in September last year.  The Assistant Treasurer in reintroducing the Bills said that that “two material things have changed since then” and that “reintroducing the bills …is the neatest, lawful path to the agreed objective”. According to the Assistant Treasurer, the two things that had changed were: (a) the Compensation Scheme of Last Resort component “was no longer fit for purpose” in that a “material event occurred in the market that significantly increased the amount that would need to be paid out of that one-off levy”; and (b) “the government decided to adopt an amendment for the Financial Accountability Regime Bill 2023, to articulate more clearly the scope of the minister’s exemption power and to provide for parliamentary oversight.

Director successful with DPN defence
The Western Australian Supreme Court has ruled that a director of a company had an arguable defence in relation to the imposition of a directors’ penalty notice (DPN) arising from unpaid superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) liabilities. The court, therefore, refused the Commissioner’s application for  summary judgment against the director. The successful defence that the director relied on was that he had “taken all reasonable steps” to cause the company to comply with its superannuation obligations. (DCT v Ziccardi [2023] WASC 58, 3 March 2023.)

Updated Practice Statements re tax penalties
The ATO has released the following updated Practice Statements relating to the imposition of various tax penalties: PS LA 2011/19 (Administration of the penalty for failure to lodge on time); PS LA 2012/4 (Administration of the false or misleading statement penalty – where there is no shortfall amount); PS LA 2012/5  (Administration of the false or misleading statement penalty – where there is a shortfall amount); and PS LA 2014/4 (Default assessment penalty).



ATO Fact Sheet: Payments received by NSW taxi licence owners under “Point” scheme
The ATO has released a Fact Sheet that explains the tax implications for NSW taxi licence owners who apply for a payment under the “NSW Point to Point Financial Assistance Scheme” (FAS) from the NSW Government under the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Amendment Act 2022 (NSW). Such  payments to taxi licence owners occur when an application is made during the transitional period and the nominated licence is cancelled. The Fact Sheet explains that FAS payments are not ordinary income but should be included in the calculation of the capital gain or capital loss that is made by the licence owner on the cancellation of the taxi licence. Note: This FAS payment is separate to the previous transitional assistance payment from the NSW Government under the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016 (NSW).

Review of the Regulatory Framework for managed investment schemes
The Government has announced  that Treasury will review the managed investment schemes (MIS) regulatory framework. It will consider various reform options, including whether the thresholds that determine whether an investor is a retail or wholesale client remain appropriate and whether certain MIS investments should be able to be marketed and sold to retail investors. In addition it will consider the various roles and obligations of responsible entities and whether the governance, compliance and risk management frameworks for MIS are appropriate. However, the review will not consider issues relating to the tax treatment of MIS and investors. Nor will it consider whether MIS should be brought within the scope of the Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR) and nor any changes to the corporate collective investment vehicle (CCIV) regime. A consultation paper will be issued “by mid-year” and findings will be reported to the Government “by early 2024”.

ATO’s SMSF quarterly statistical report for December 2022
The ATO has released information of its self-managed super fund (SMSF) quarterly statistical report for December 2022. The information includes: the report itself; what is included in the report; and historical data.

Weekly Updates