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03 Sep 07 Government initiative to cut red tape

In a press release issued on 30 August 2007, the Treasurer, Peter Costello, announced the launch a long-term initiative to cut the red tape confronting business when reporting to government.  It will be called the Standard Business Reporting (SBR) programme. The Treasurer said that financial reporting will be the first set of forms to be targeted, since these affect the broadest section of the business community. This will include forms such as Business Activity Statements, Company Income Tax Returns, TFN Declarations and the Quarterly Business Indicators Survey.

When SBR financial reporting is fully implemented, businesses will be able to use their accounting/record keeping software to automatically pre-fill government reports such as BAS statements. Businesses will no longer have to spend hours working out how to translate their own records into government reports. Businesses will be able to use a single, secure, log on to send financial reports to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Taxation Office, and potentially, State Revenue Offices. Businesses will no longer need to log in to separate systems to submit their financial reports to each of these agencies. Use of SBR will be voluntary.

SBR will be co-ordinated by the Treasury and will bring together participating agencies to streamline their business reporting needs.  A range of pilots and trials will commence from mid-2008.  It is anticipated that the full implementation for financial reporting will be complete in mid-2010, with take-up by business escalating over the subsequent three years.  The cost of the programme will be $208.1 million over the next three years. The benefits to business are ultimately estimated rise to $795 million per year on an ongoing basis.

For a copy of the Treasurer's press release, No 2007/084, 30 August 2007, go here

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