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Business News NSW Northern Rivers

TAFE NSW GRADUATE TAKES HOME MEDAL AT WORLDSKILLS AUSTRALIA

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Local Lismore mechanic Nicholas McLaren

TAFE NSW GRADUATE TAKES HOME MEDAL AT WORLDSKILLS AUSTRALIA

Local Lismore mechanic Nicholas McLaren has won silver at the 2021 WorldSkills Australia National Championships after completing his apprenticeship at TAFE NSW Wollongbar.

Competing in the country’s largest trades and skills competition, Mr McLaren showcased the skills he learnt during his Certificate III in Automotive at TAFE NSW and claimed one of the top awards in the Automotive category.

The event gives more than 500 regional winners from across the nation an opportunity to show off their skills on a national stage and marks a milestone for Mr McLaren’s automotive ambitions, which began as a hobby working on his own cars.
Mr McLaren was tasked with repairing and diagnosing vehicles including areas of engine measurement and repair, steering suspension and brakes, electronic diagnosis, safety and servicing.

“The competition was a real challenge and it was so rewarding to be able to test my abilities in my trade. The support I had from my teachers was great, and I was able to bring many real-life, practical skills to the workplace, especially when dealing with customers.”
Mr McLaren is following in the footsteps of his employer, Jake Hiscock from Lismore Car Repairs who won a gold medal at WorldSkills in 2016. Mr Hiscock said he always looks to hire from TAFE NSW because of the top quality teaching and development of the highest calibre of graduates.
“Nicholas is a true professional and his work is a positive reflection on the industry. We are proud to hire staff that are at an elite skill-level so that we can continue providing our customers with great service.”

The Automotive industry employs over 356,000 Australians. Demand for automotive workers is growing due to an ageing workforce, the increase in technical skills required for modern vehicles, people holding onto older vehicles, increases in domestic driving holidays, and the return to commuting by motor vehicles following COVID-19 disruptions.
TAFE NSW Automotive Head Teacher Kirk Trease congratulated Mr McLaren on his outstanding display of talent and the preparation he put into the competition in the months leading up to it.

“The demand for employees growing, which means now is the time to get qualified. The Certificate III in Automotive Technology is a nationally accredited course and fully subsidised under JobTrainer.”

For more information about courses at TAFE NSW or via TAFE Digital, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601

Business News NSW Northern Rivers

LAUNCH OF WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDE FOR ROAD FREIGHT TRANSPORT INDUSTRY

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

LAUNCH OF WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDE FOR ROAD FREIGHT TRANSPORT INDUSTRY

SafeWork NSW has launched its ‘Work Health and Safety Guide for the Road Freight Transport Industry’ to help keep thousands of workers and the community safe.

SafeWork NSW Executive Director of Compliance and Dispute Resolution, Tony Williams, said the Guide was developed following extensive consultation with key industry stakeholders including transport industry groups, unions, Transport for NSW and interstate regulators.

“The transport industry is an essential service provider for all Australians but unfortunately records a high rate of fatalities and serious injuries with major claims for injuries around 50 per cent greater than the average employment sector,” Mr Williams said.

“The Guide provides transport operators and supply chain businesses with practical and tailored work health and safety information relating to working in and around vehicles.

“Risks covered include loading and unloading, traffic management, working at heights, immobilisation and hazardous manual tasks as well as health risks from psychosocial hazards.

“This is a comprehensive resource for the transport industry that will help build skills and knowledge to protect workers from serious harm. It highlights the importance of embedding road safety within the workplace by focusing on improving work health and safety systems and practices, responding to changes in technology, injury recovery, and learning from incidents that occur.

“The Guide, having received a commitment from industry and being supported by SafeWork NSW, promotes a safer road freight transport industry to meet the demands of the growing NSW economy,” Mr Williams said.

The Guide can be found on the SafeWork NSW website here.

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Ballina News

EXPANDED SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF NOW AVAILABLE

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The Northern Rivers own newspaper

EXPANDED SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF NOW AVAILABLE

From today eligible sole traders, not-for-profit organisations and small businesses in NSW will be able to access up to $2,000 in relief to help them bounce back and get the economy firing again.

Treasurer Matt Kean said the increased and expanded grant would provide businesses with additional relief as part of the NSW COVID-19 Economic Recovery Strategy.

“From today, the Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate will increase from $1,500 to $2,000 and will now include road user tolls for business usage,” Mr Kean said.

“The rebate can be claimed against eligible NSW and local Government fees and charges that are required to run a business such as food authority licences, liquor licences, event fees and council rates.

“It’s been a tough year for sole traders and small operators and this is one more way the NSW Government is helping to keep businesses in business.”

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said 70,000 businesses had already lodged a claim under the initial scheme, saving more than $82 million since it was launched on 1 April 2021.

“The expanded Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate will be available to small businesses across the State, from your local electrician paying for their trade licence to the café on the corner setting up outdoor seating,” Mr Tudehope said.

“The expansion to cover road tolls paid since 1 March 2021 will be especially helpful to those businesses who spend a lot of time in the car, truck or van.

“Toll relief of up to $2,000 will have a significant impact on the bottom line for a small business.”

Business owners can apply for the rebate by logging into their Business Profile via the MyService NSW Account.

Once approved, businesses will be provided with a $2,000 digital voucher in their Business Profile which applicants can draw down on to offset the cost of Government expenses.

Simply lodge your proof of payment and the money will be refunded back into your bank account.

Small businesses which have already registered for the previous $1,500 Small Business Rebate program will not be required to re-register. Those businesses will receive an automatic $500 top-up to the digital voucher. New applicants will receive one $2,000 digital voucher.

Applications for the rebate from new businesses will open today. These businesses can submit claims as soon as their application has been approved.

For more information on how to apply, visit nsw.gov.au.

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Business News NSW Northern Rivers

Corporate Tax Transparency report highlights trend towards willing compliance

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Corporate Tax Transparency report highlights trend towards willing compliance

The Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO’s) publication of the seventh annual report on corporate tax transparency showcases the trend towards improved voluntary tax compliance among large corporates.

Deputy Commissioner Rebecca Saint explained that the report reflects the ATO’s intensive engagement with the top end of town in recent years.
“While the tax paid by this population may fluctuate year on year, the overall trend couldn’t be clearer. Corporates are placing a higher value on tax compliance, driving consistent and willing voluntary participation,” Ms Saint said.

The Tax Avoidance Taskforce (the Taskforce) has had a significant impact on corporate tax collections. Since its inception in 2016, the Taskforce has proven very successful. In addition to contributing to the ATO collecting over $10 billion in additional tax from public and multinational businesses it has driven improved tax compliance.

The resources of the Taskforce have allowed the ATO to establish the Justified Trust program, which requires the largest businesses to assure us they are paying the right amount of tax by having regard to objective evidence.

“This is a significantly higher level of scrutiny than the previous approach of investigating identified risks,” Ms Saint said.

“Our reports on the Top 100 shows that the number of taxpayers achieving a high assurance rating increased from 6% in 2019 to 49% in 2021. We attribute this to a combination of businesses recognising that investing in their tax governance has tangible real-world benefits – as well as a significant investment of time and resources by the ATO in scrutinising structures, transactions and tax governance frameworks.”

“The health of the tax system is underpinned by willing participation, which is shown by four out of five of the largest businesses in Australia having obtained either a high or medium assurance rating.”

“Low assurance ratings prompt the ATO to conduct comprehensive and intensive reviews where we are more likely to use audits to resolve issues.”

“Although we cannot disclose the assurance ratings of individual taxpayers, we note that many are using a justified trust rating as a key performance indicator. We are seeing businesses with “high assurance” tax ratings informing their shareholders, employees and other stakeholders.”

The corporate tax transparency report also shows that the proportion of companies that have paid no income tax remains steady at 33% in 2019-20. This reflects a decline from 36% since the first report in 2013-14.

It is important to note that data in the report is taken directly from tax returns and does not reflect any intervention or compliance work after lodgment of the returns.

There are many reasons why companies pay no income tax. Income tax is paid on profits not revenue and legitimate business or economic factors may see companies pay no income tax due to operating losses, utilising losses from prior years, or projects operating in a start-up phase.

Many single entities that did not pay tax are members of a tax paying corporate group. At the economic group level, a total of 2,061 economic groups or standalone entities were to some degree in scope for the transparency report. Of these, 78% had a tax liability through one or more member entities.

“The ATO actively verifies that losses in the large market are not created through contrived schemes, but can be traced back to commercial operations. We subject companies that report sustained year-on-year losses to additional scrutiny,” Ms Saint said.

Corporate Tax Transparency Report

  • The ATO is required under law to publish tax information reported to us by certain large companies each year. This year’s tax transparency report covers 2,370 corporate entities, of which:
  • 1,378 are foreign-owned companies with an income of $100 million or more
  • 513 are Australian public entities with an income of $100 million or more
  • 479 are Australian-owned resident private companies with an income of $200 million or more.

The companies in the report paid a combined total of $57.2 billion, or around 65% of all corporate income tax in 2019-20.

Since the first report in 2013-14, there has been growth in total income, taxable income, and income tax payable. In 2019-20, the growth in these amounts has been largely driven by the mining sector, which accounted for around 44% of tax payable.

While the report reflects the impact of the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic (particularly on the wholesale, retail and services sector), it does not provide additional detail on recipients of JobKeeper or other stimulus payments.

Oil and gas sector

The highly concentrated taxpayer base of the Petroleum Resources Rent Tax (PRRT) allows a high level of ATO scrutiny.12 corporate entities paid $881 million in 2019-20, this is a slight decrease from the $1.06 billion paid by 11 corporate entities 2018–19. The decline in PRRT is primarily due to a fall in oil prices.

Large corporate groups income tax performance

Most large businesses do the right thing and are paying the right amount of tax, as reflected in our estimate of the large corporate group income tax gap.

For 2018–19, we estimate a net gap of 4.3% or $2.6 billion after ATO engagement, meaning large corporate groups paid over 95% of the theoretical total amount of income tax payable in 2018–19.

“Very few other revenue authorities calculate and publish tax gaps. This makes international comparisons difficult, but Australians can be reassured that large corporate groups are held to account more than any other sector of the economy,” Ms Saint said.

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