Asia Pacific

Supreme Court Re-Affirms the Inclusion of Allowances for Determining Provident Fund Contributions

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India vide its judgment passed on February 28, 2019 in the case of The Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (II) West Bengal vs. Vivekananda Vidyamandir and Others (clubbed with certain other civil appeals) has re-affirmed the position concerning treatment of allowances for determining the provident fund contribution.

The common question of law which was raised by the appeals for determination by the Hon’ble Supreme Court was whether the special allowances paid by an establishment to its employees would fall within the ambit of the expression ‘basic wages’ under section 2(b)(ii) read with section 6 of the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (“EPF Act”), for computation of deduction towards provident fund contribution.

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Talking Tax – Issue 151

Welcome decision for expats: Harding appeal clarifies meaning of ‘non-resident’

In Harding v FCT [2019] FCAFC 29, the Full Federal Court allowed the taxpayer’s appeal, finding that an Australian living and working in the Middle East was not an Australian tax resident. This case is a welcome development for expatriates currently working or seeking to work overseas, as it clarifies certain circumstances in which a person will be no longer be considered an Australian tax resident.

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Start whistle blown on new whistleblower legislation

Over a year since it was first introduced, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Bill 2017 (whistleblower legislation) has passed the House of Representatives, incorporating amendments made by the Senate. The aim of the whistleblower legislation is to create a single, strengthened whistleblower protection regime covering the corporate, financial and tax sectors. It also aims to encourage ethical whistleblowing and discourage white collar crime.

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Director’s share trading scheme breaches fiduciary duties, but accessorial liability claims rejected

A recent Federal Court decision recognises the expansive reach of the statutory and fiduciary duties owed by company directors. However, the company’s unsuccessful attempt to hold third parties liable as accessories to its director’s breaches of statutory duties highlights the importance of properly pleading and proving that an alleged accessory has actual knowledge of all the essential facts constituting the director’s breaches.

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Smart derivative contracts – closer than you think?

Smart contracts, which are computer protocols intended to digitally facilitate, verify or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract have the potential to radically change the way in which parties interact by allowing the safe performance of transactions without the need for a third party intermediary using blockchain technology.

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Blockchain – what is it and how is it relevant?

What is blockchain?

Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT)

DLT is a decentralised ledger of transactions with identical copies maintained on multiple independent computer systems. This means the transaction ledger is maintained simultaneously across a network of unrelated computers or servers called “nodes”, like a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers.

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‘Careless’ security guard reinstated after $58,000 theft

In a recent decision involving the cash-in-transit industry, the full bench of the Fair Work Commission upheld a decision to reinstate an armoured vehicle operator (AVO) after his successful unfair dismissal application.1

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Plant Breeder’s Rights in Australia: updated, amended and strengthened

Recent amendments to the PBR Act have strengthened PBR rights and have aligned aspects of PBR with other intellectual property laws in Australia.

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Talking Tax – Issue 149

Changes to deductions for non-compliant payments to workers

From 1 July 2019, businesses will lose their deductions for payments to employees if no pay as you go (PAYG) withholding amount is withheld and reported to the ATO.

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Case update: trade mark licensing and register formalities in the spotlight

The Federal Court recently handed down its decision in Calico Global Pty Ltd v Calico LLC1. This decision highlights the potentially fatal consequences of not updating the IP Australia register to reflect a change in trade mark ownership.

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