Small Business Restructure Rollovers
From 1 July 2016, small businesses or affiliates and connected entities of a small business are able to undertake genuine restructures of their businesses and change the entities which hold the assets in their businesses. These assets can be moved from legacy structures into one or more new structures. It applies to the transfer of active assets in the business that are CGT assets, trading stock, revenue assets and depreciating assets.
The key requirement is that the rollover is only able to be used where the rollover forms part of a genuine restructure and that there must be no change to the ultimate economic ownership of the transferred assets. The ultimate economic owners of an asset are individuals who directly or indirectly own the asset, however where a discretionary trust is involved, additional tests exist. In determining whether a restructure is genuine depends on all the facts surrounding the restructure. The Australian Taxation Office has released a Law Companion Guide 2016/2 SBRR Consequences of a Rollover which sets out six examples and it is highly recommended that these are all viewed before any restructure occurs.
If both these tests are satisfied in that a genuine restructure takes place, no income or capital gains tax implications arise upon the transfer of all the assets and the new entities are deemed to have acquired the assets at the same date and value as the original entity had acquired them for the CGT assets, trading stock, depreciating assets and the revenue assets.
Note that there may be significant benefits from using this rollover however stamp duty and other non tax implications also need to be considered.
Management or Leadership?
Management has been described as being essentially about structures, systems, processes, policies, procedures, finances and consisting of the interlocking functions of creating corporate policy and organising, planning, controlling and directing an organisation's resources in order to achieve the objectives of that policy.
Leadership on the other hand is fundamentally about creating the environment in which people work willingly together to achieve common goals. Many commentators believe that leadership is best taught and developed within a management context. One way of getting interesting feedback about an individual's leadership skills is to ask those who are being lead what they define as good leadership.
Claiming Export Market Development Grant
If you have exported products or services or you have incurred expenditure as part of proposing to export products or services then you could be eligible to claim Export Market Development Grant in respect of the year ended 30th June 2016.
To claim the grant, which is a maximum of $150,000, on a 50% basis of eligible expenditure, you would have had to expend, at least, $15,000 on export market development activities. For your first Export Market Development claim, you can combine two years. For example, if you expended $10,000 in 2014/15 and $14,000 in 2015/16, a total of $24,000 could be submitted in your "first export market development grant claim" and you would receive 50% of this - an amount of $12,000. In future years you would have to incur, at least, $15,000 to be able to make a claim.
Eligible expenditure for the Export Market Development Grant is summarised under the following key headings:
· overseas market visits - maximum $300 per day
· overseas representative expenditure (acting on your behalf on a long term basis to market/promote your products) - maximum claim $200,000 per annum
· communication, product samples, trade fairs, literature and advertising expenses, marketing consultants - maximum $50,000 per application
· overseas buyers (bringing overseas buyers to Australia) - maximum $7,500 per buyer per trip - maximum $45,000 claim per application.
· promotional literature and advertising, registration and/or insurance of intellectual property.
The deadline for lodgement of Export Market Development Grant applications in respect of the year ended 30th June 2016 is 30th November 2016.
Every employee has a general protection against adverse action which is discrimination. If an employee challenges an employer under the Fair Work Act due to adverse action, the employer has the responsibility to disprove the claim. This is the reverse of the normal proof that applies in Australia. Adverse action is fairly broad. An example is; an employee has been absent from work for a week because they have been sick. When the employee returned to work the supervisor said to the employee that the business has incurred a lot of problems because the employee hadn't been present and blamed the employee for the problems the business had had. As a consequence, the supervisor had given the employee unattractive jobs to do. Fair Work Australia held that this was an "adverse action".
Bullying and harassment is also a huge problem in Australia. Some commentators have indicated that the cost to the Australian economy for bullying and harassment is around $13B per annum. Bullying and harassment can also be a health claim issue.
Harassment can be a one-off event whereas bullying can be a repeated event. Employer representative organisations have recommended for many years that employers need policies in place relative to bullying and harassment and these policies need to be up-to-date. The policies also need to be visible so everyone knows about them. In particular the message is very clear - this business will not tolerate bullying and harassment.
Another issue for employers to be concerned about is where an employee goes to a manager and tells him/her about a problem they're having and then says to the manager "I don't want you to do anything about it". The manager has an obligation to investigate and obviously to make sure that senior management is aware of the issue, irrespective of what the complainant said to the manager.
If the manager doesn't investigate and, if need be, take action to rectify the problem, the complainant could make a formal complaint to Fair Work Australia at a later date and make allegations that he/she hasn't been supported by the business. Reasonable management action is not harassment, however managers need to be careful to ensure that any action implemented is appropriately documented.
Thirty-four thousand applications relating to employee complaints were received by Fair Work Australia last year. Twenty-five thousand were treated by the Fair Work Ombudsman. Eight out of ten of the claims were related to bullying. One out of five related to sexual harassment. One out of three related to racism. There is a claim made with Fair Work Australia every 3.84 minutes of a working day.
All of this highlights the necessity for businesses to implement appropriate employment policy and ensure that these policies are implemented on a fair and equitable basis.