Family Court Amendment Bill 2022 (WA) – Bill providing for separating couples to split super now law
The Bill (covered in the Birchstone Brief for the week ended 19 August 2022) to allow de facto couples in WA to split their superannuation in the event of a relationship breakdown has received royal assent and is now law. Subject to commencement of the Act and the associated Family Law Amendment (Western Australia De Facto Superannuation Splitting and Bankruptcy) Act 2020 (Cth), the reforms will mean that West Australians in de facto relationships are no longer disadvantaged when it comes to splitting superannuation assets following separation, thereby bringing WA into line with all other Australian jurisdictions.
Treasury Laws Amendment (Electric Car Discount) Bill 2022 (Cth) – Senate committee recommends prompt passage through Parliament
The Senate’s Economic Legislation Committee has recommended that the Bill (covered in the Birchstone Brief for the week ended 29 July 2022) providing an FBT exemption for zero or low emissions vehicles should be passed through Parliament quickly in order to make such vehicles more affordable and increase their uptake.
Treasury Laws Amendment (2022 Measures No 3) Bill 2022 (Cth) & Income Tax Amendment (Labour Mobility Program) Bill 2022 (Cth) – Bills introduced to effect tax treatment of certain visa holders
The Government has introduced two Bills which will together introduce a final withholding tax rate of 15% applicable to salary, wages, commission, bonuses or allowances paid by Approved Employers under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility Scheme to foreign resident holders of a Temporary Work (International Relations) visa. The reduction to a flat final withholding rate of 15% is designed to ensure that such workers pay tax on program income at a rate consistent with similar migration programs.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (2022 Measures No 3) Bill 2022 (Cth) also contains amendments relating to:
- data sharing of protected information under the TAA 1953 between government agencies;
- an alternative annual performance test for faith-based superannuation products; and
- the extension of a temporary mechanism allowing responsible Ministers to make a determination adjusting arrangements for meeting information and documentary requirements under Commonwealth legislation until the end of 31 December 2023.
Draft legislation to prevent crypto assets from being treated as foreign currency released
The Treasury has released draft legislation to ensure that crypto assets are not treated as a foreign currency for Australian income tax purposes. The legislation is necessary to resolve uncertainty following the Government of El Salvador’s decision to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. If enacted, the legislation will:
- amend the definition of digital currency in the GST Act; and
- exclude digital currency as defined in the GST Act from the definition of foreign currency in the ITAA 1997.