Talking Tax – Issue 84

ATO updates

Commissioner provides Common Reporting Standard compliance relief

On 30 June 2017 the ATO made a declaration under the Tax Laws Amendment (Implementation of the Common Reporting Standard) Act 2016 (Act) that 25 jurisdictions (including Barbados, China, Hong Kong, Israel, Kuwait and Russia) are ‘committed jurisdictions’ for the purposes of the transitional provisions of the Act (Declaration).

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New Minimum Wage Laws Now In Effect In Several California Locales Continue Reading…

Not all new laws go into effect on the first of the year. On July 1, 2017, new minimum wage laws went into effect in several locales in California. Specifically:

  • Emeryville: $15.20/hour for businesses with 56 or more employees; $14/hour for businesses with 55 or fewer employees.
  • City of Los Angeles: $12/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $10.50 an hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • Los Angeles County (unincorporated areas only): $12/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $10.50 an hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • Malibu: $12/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $10.50 an hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • Milpitas: $11 an hour.
  • Pasadena: $12/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $10.50 an hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • San Francisco: $14 an hour.
  • San Jose: $12 an hour.
  • San Leandro: $12 an hour.
  • Santa Monica: $12/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $10.50 an hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
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ILN Today Post

You only need to ask – security-related bankruptcy rules are to change

Although the new Civil Code that took effect in 2014 made it impossible to use a good few commonly used types of loan security, since then the legislature has gradually restored them to their rightful place. Indeed, the amendments to the Bankruptcy Act coming into effect on 1 July will go further than the previous rules, giving security options and security assignments, the same priority status as mortgages. This case is a good example of the effective cooperation between the legislature and the banking industry in Hungary.

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ILN Today Post

Future of Virtual Currencies in India

The legal status of virtual currencies (“VCs”) such as Bitcoins continues to be debated as it remains unrecognized in India.

The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) in the past had issued several advisories clarifying that creation, trading or usage of VCs, as a medium for payment are not authorized by any central bank or monetary authority in India and entails various risks, but RBI stopped short of declaring VCs as illegal. However, pursuant to issuance of these advisories, the Enforcement Directorate did reportedly conduct raids against operators of trading platforms of VCs in India, creating an atmosphere of regulatory uncertainty for the VC industry. In absence of any clear direction or regulation by the Government, the matter of VCs seems to have remained in an uncertain limbo riddled with regulatory pitfalls.  

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Greek TV stations licensing Odyssey

It is undeniable that the relation of the Greek state with the television stations has always been turbulent, and the legal status regarding these stations has always been uncertain.

Law 1866/1989 regulated for the first time the grant of a license for the establishment and operation of non-state stations, but without a tender procedure. This Law also established the National Radio and Television Council (NRTC) which was assigned responsibilities such as the supervision of television stations. Thus, the first licenses were granted, but without signing the legally required agreement for the completion of the license and as a result the television stations have never operated with total legitimacy. In the following years new laws provided that for the issuance of licenses of private television stations an invitation to tender is necessary and that the existing licenses would still apply until the tender procedure. Laws followed that set deadlines for the issuance of the invitation to tender and for the grant of licenses, which were constantly extended by subsequent laws, with the latest date set for the grant of licenses being Dec. 31, 2015.

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New Virginia Telehealth Law Benefits Optometrists and Ophthalmologists

After July 1, 2017, optometrists and ophthalmologists (“Ophthalmic Providers”) in Virginia will be able to practice through telehealth. Va. Code § 54.1-2400.01:2 permits Ophthalmic Providers to establish a bona fide provider-patient relationship “by an examination through face-to-face interactive, two-way, real-time communication” or through “store-and-forward technologies.” Licensed Ophthalmic Providers may establish a provider-patient relationship so long as the provider conforms to the in-person standard of care.  To the extent that an Ophthalmic Provider actually writes a prescription, the Ophthalmic Provider must also obtain an updated patient medical history and make a diagnosis at the time of prescribing.  However, like most telehealth laws in other states, the Virginia law prohibits issuing a prescription solely by use of an online questionnaire.

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Superannuation system review

The new financial year has been hailed in with a request from Scott Morrison, Treasurer, to commence the final stage of the Superannuation system review, with a draft report due in January 2018, and the final report due one year from now on 1 July 2018.

The review will cover the usual superannuation suspects around costs, fees, and net returns (eg should there be increased disclosure? Would increased disclosure actually improve outcomes for members? What are the implications of exit fees? Should something be done to address account erosion for low account balances? Should costs and fees be tailored for different member segments?). Also (and interestingly), the review will cover insurance in superannuation.

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ILN Today Post

Don’t get caught “softlifting”

Fines to UK SMEs exceeded £900,000 in 2016 for using unlicensed software

It is certainly no secret that software has become an integral part of the success of modern businesses in recent years. Business management software has assisted with running operations more efficiently, cost reduction and replacement of paper processes. Cloud computing software has also opened the door to unprecedented levels of connectivity, productivity, and efficiency.

However, with the ubiquity of devices and ease of online downloads available, together with the increasing complexity of software licence agreements, it is not difficult to imagine how businesses, including retailers, might end up with unlicensed software being used by their employees, without their knowledge.

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Take 5 Newsletter: Societal Challenges Intersecting with the Retail Workplace

This issue of Take 5 encapsulates the incredible breadth of societal changes and challenges facing the entire retail workplace. The topics addressed below reflect a microcosm of the many issues currently facing our overall society, covering growing political activism in the workplace, increasing expectations to accommodate religious beliefs, otherwise outrageous employee speech that may very well enjoy protection under the law, and the ever-increasing requirements for criminal background checks enacted piecemeal by states and cities. These extremely topical subjects often tap into broader emotionally charged concerns encountered by retailers.

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ILN Today Post

Important safety checks required following Grenfell Tower fire

The announcement by prime minister Theresa May on 28 June 2017 that the cladding used at Grenfell Tower did not comply with Building Regulations is a worrying development in this tragic saga.  How defective cladding came to be installed in circumstances where the public rightfully expect construction works to be properly carried out and certified will no doubt be the subject of the public inquiry in due course.

At issue is a type of cladding made of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM).  Although ACM cladding is not of itself dangerous, it is important to ensure that the correct type of cladding has been used and/or only used on buildings of a certain height.

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