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In a joint media release issued on 20 January 2015, the Assistant Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, and the Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, announced the release of the Board of Taxation's report on its review of tax impediments facing small business and the Government's response to the Board's report. The report was provided to the Government at the end of August 2014.

Mr Frydenberg said that the Government recognises that the ATO has already begun implementation of most of the administrative recommendations identified in the report.

Mr Frydenberg said that the report noted that superannuation penalties can be harsh, with disproportionate outcomes. The Government will ensure that penalties for employers who inadvertently pay their superannuation guarantee late or short pay their employees' contributions by a small amount reflect the nature of the breach. These changes will take effect from 1 July 2016.

The Board made 17 recommendations, which are set out together in Appendix A to the report.

Whilst not making any recommendations in relation to the following, the Board said at para 1.16 of its Introduction:

"The Board has identified a number of complex reform issues unlikely to be resolved in the short or medium term and issues that are the subject of other current or foreshadowed reviews. These issues are discussed in Chapter 6, which focusses on capital gains tax (CGT) issues, and Chapter 7, which deals with broader tax issues. Many of the issues identified in these chapters are outside the scope of this review."

The Board also recommended a further review, saying in para 1.17 of its Introduction:

"Having regard to the importance of small businesses in the economy and the complexities of tax legislation and compliance matters, the Board recommends a further and more detailed review of the tax impediments facing small businesses be carried out in the next few years, perhaps after the implementation of relevant outcomes from the White Paper on the Reform of Australia’s Tax System."


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