With Australia’s small businesses claiming increasing grant entitlements under the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme, the Government has finally announced a $60 million increase in funding over the next three years. This will increase the current $130 million funding cap by adding a further $20 million per year from 2019-20 to 2021-22.
Although proposed amendments to the R&D Tax Incentive from 1 July 2018 have been put on hold, the Government has still significantly revised down the expected cost of the programme over the forward estimates. This is despite no new announcements in the 2019-20 Budget.
On 28 March 2019, the Australian Government signed its new Double Tax Agreement with Israel. The treaty will work to generate mutually beneficial investment opportunities and generate bilateral trade for both countries.
The Government has announced the expansion of the Exchange of Information (EOI) list allowing residents in listed countries to gain access to the reduced rate withholding tax rate of 15% rather than the default 30%, in respect of qualifying distributions from Australian Managed Investment Trusts (MIT).
The Government announced it will provide increased luxury car tax refunds to primary producers and tourism operators on vehicles purchased on or after 1 July 2019. Eligible primary producers and tourism operators will be able to apply for a refund of luxury car tax of up to $10,000, more than tripling the current maximum refund of $3,000.
Two measures were announced in relation to Superannuation Fund administration. The first measure relates to providing tax relief to merging superannuation funds. The second measure relates to streamlining of various administrative processes for superannuation funds.
The Government has announced that it will make a number of minor amendments to Australia’s hybrid mismatch rules to clarify their operation. However, these are not expected to have a great impact on revenue over the forward estimates period.
The Government has announced that over four years, from 1 July 2019, the Budget will provide $82.4 million to support the expansion of data collected through Single Touch Payroll (STP) by the ATO and enhance data matching capabilities for Commonwealth agencies.
With an election looming, it was no surprise that the Budget included big ticket expenditure items. The key expenditure items are detailed below.