With most tax professionals now returning to work after the holiday break, this is the ideal time to do a stocktake of the status of recent tax, superannuation and related Bills which may affect tax practitioners and their clients in 2021. This article summarises the legislation which is still before Parliament, as well as measures which have been recently enacted or which the Government has declared will not proceed.
The final Parliamentary sitting for 2020 ended on Thursday, 10 December. Both Houses will return on Tuesday, 2 February 2021.
Bills currently before Parliament
Bills before the Senate
|Treasury Laws Amendment (Self Managed Superannuation Funds) Bill 2020||Increases the SMSF membership limit from four to six||First 1 Jan, 1
April, 1 July or
1 Oct after
|Treasury Laws Amendment (More Flexible Superannuation) Bill 2020||Bringing forward non-concessional contributions cap||1 July 2020|
|Treasury Laws Amendment (Reuniting More Superannuation) Bill 2020||Facilitate the closure of eligible rollover funds (ERFs) and allow the Commissioner to reunite amounts received from ERFs with active accounts||Day after Royal Assent|
|Crimes Legislation Amendment (Economic Disruption) Bill 2020||Criminal law changes relating to money laundering and proceeds of crime||Day after Royal Assent|
Bills before the House of Representatives
|Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response No. 2) Bill 2020||Changes to the Corporations Act 2001 in relation to financial service providers’ ongoing fee arrangements and disclosure of lack of independence||1 July 2021|
|Treasury Laws Amendment (2020 Measures No. 4) Bill 2020||Various, including: making refunds of large-scale generation shortfall charges non-assessable non exempt income; and measures to facilitate the closure of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal||Various|
Status of other recent Bills
Bills not proceeding
The Government has recently announced that these proposed measures will not proceed:
|Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019||New criminal offences for entities that make or accept cash payments of $10,000 or more||Discharged from the Notice Paper on 3 December 2020|
|Treasury Laws Amendment (Research and Development Tax Incentive) Bill 2019||R&D tax incentive changes
These proposed measures will not proceed because R&D changes were included in the Treasury Laws Amendment (A Tax Plan for the COVID-19 Economic Recovery) Act 2020 — see below
|Discharged from Notice Paper on 9 November 2020|
Recently enacted legislation
The following legislation received Royal Assent in the final quarter (October to December) of calendar year 2020:
|Act||Summary||Start date||Royal Assent date|
|Treasury Laws Amendment (A Tax Plan for the COVID-19 Economic Recovery) Act 2020||Various 2020–21 Federal Budget measures including: accelerating personal tax cuts (threshold and changes to the low income tax offset / low and middle income tax offset); temporary loss carry back; increasing the SBE turnover threshold for certain concessions; R&D tax incentive changes; temporary full expensing of depreciating assets
See this Banter Blog article for a summary of the measures
|Various||14 October 2020|
|Economic Recovery Package (JobMaker Hiring Credit) AmendmentAct 2020||Amends the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Act 2020 to allow for the making of rules including the JobMaker Hiring Credit
On 4 December 2020, the Treasurer registered a Legislative Instrument titled the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No. 9) 2020 to set out the details of the JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme
|14 November 2020||13 November 2020|
|Treasury Laws Amendment (2020 Measures No. 5) Act 2020||Make State/Territory grants for eligible COVID-19 affected businesses non assessable non-exempt income; amend the superannuation unclaimed money and lost members rules to allow direct payment to certain New Zealand schemes||Various||11 December 2020|
|Corporations Amendment (Corporate Insolvency Reforms) Act 2020||Changes to the Corporation Act 2001, including: debt restructuring process for small companies; simplified liquidation process for creditors’ voluntary winding up; expanded use of electronic documents and signatures||Mainly 1 January 2021||15 December 2020|
|Treasury Laws Amendment (2020 Measures No. 6) Act 2020||Various, including: amendments relating to temporary full expensing and Backing Business Investment (BBI) measures; incentivising charities to join the National Redress Scheme
Read this Banter Blog article for detail about the changes to temporary full expensing and BBI
|Various (1 Jan 2021 for temporary full expensing)||17 December 2020|
|Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response) Act 2020||Implements various recommendations of the Hayne Royal Commission, including in relation to anti-hawking; insurance products; trustees of superannuation funds||1 January 2021||17 December 2020|
|Export Market Development Grants Legislation Amendment Act 2020||Change the EMDG scheme from a reimbursement model to a grants program||To be proclaimed||17 December 2020|
Further info and training
Join us at the beginning of each month as we review the current tax landscape. Our monthly Online Tax Updates and Public Sessions are excellent and cost effective options to stay on top of your CPD requirements. We present these monthly online, and also offer face-to-face Public Sessions at locations across Australia. Click here to find a location near you.
Our Upcoming February Tax Update will include the most recent of the 2020 legislative developments.
We can also present these Updates at your firm (or through a private online session) with content tailored to your client base – please contact us here to submit an expression ofinterest or visit our In-house training page for more information.
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