Investment companies miss out on tax relief

** Updated 20 October 2017: Please note this bill was introduced to the Parliament of Australia on the 19 October 2017 and as a consequence elements of this article are no longer correct.  Please refer to our update 'Greater certainty on company tax rates for small business entities' by clicking here.

As part of the Government’s Enterprise Tax Plan, the corporate tax rate for small business entities (aggregated turnover of less than $10m) has been cut cut to 27.5% from FY17, with the turnover threshold for small business entities increasing to $25m in FY18 and increasing to $50m in FY19.

However, there has been significant uncertainty in relation to whether companies receiving primarily passive income (including corporate beneficiaries) constitute small business entities and therefore qualify for the lower corporate tax rate. Recent commentary amongst practitioners has certainly supported the possibility.

Are parties really committed to tax reform?

Of late we’ve seen both the major parties make their case for changes to the tax system. Whilst tax reform has been part of the political, business and social landscape for many years, the commitment of government to tackle this issue head on has been somewhat “lukewarm”. One can understand that from a political perspective  addressing wholesale tax reform can be difficult when you do not have a majority government, or the public have become disenchanted and their votes continuously “swing”.