InFocus August 2020 - Volume 29 Issue 7
- Registered agent gatekeeping activities
- Relief applications and documents now lodged through ASIC Regulatory Portal
- COVID-19 resources for small business
- Submit your industry funding annual return now!
- Upcoming events
ASIC recently commenced compliance programs to review the conduct and eligibility of registered agents against the ASIC registered agent terms and conditions (T&Cs).
Our T&Cs provide a framework to promote higher gatekeeping standards by challenging poor conduct and/or cancelling registered agents.
In the 2019-2020 financial year, we investigated 61 reports of registered agent misconduct. As a result, 15 registered agents were cancelled and 29 others were issued warnings.
We’ve acted against these registered agents for many reasons, including, but not limited to:
- failing to respond to compliance notices,
- operating under deregistered companies,
- repeated failures to download company annual statements,
- failure to obtain or store a copy of registered agent nomination or cessation,
- incorrect lodgements due to administrative error, and
- lodging on behalf on an entity without authorisation.
It is important registered agents maintain their contact details and regularly review the T&Cs and the Electronic Lodgement Protocol (ELP) to ensure that business practices and conduct continues to meet requirements.
For more information about the registered agent T&Cs, please visit our website.
From 27 July 2020, the ASIC Regulatory Portal has replaced other channels as the primary way to submit applications for relief and various fundraising and corporate finance documents to ASIC. These applications and documents are now submitted through the portal using online forms known as transactions.
The transactions in the portal are structured to make it easier for stakeholders to provide ASIC with the required information. A range of security features in the portal ensure stakeholders can determine who can see, edit or submit their transactions. They can also correspond with ASIC about submitted transactions and track their status.
ASIC’s MoneySmart website contains useful information if you are affected by COVID-19. It provides information on early access to superannuation and protecting yourself from scams as well as several other topics. You can also subscribe to a COVID-19 newsletter on this website. If you are experiencing difficulties in meeting your obligations to ASIC in this time, please consider the information available on our website to apply for relief from certain obligations (conditions apply).
The COVID-19 Information page on ASIC’s website contains information specific to small business operators when they are experiencing financial distress and trading while insolvent, among other things. It also contains links to various state based Small Business Commissioners, the ATO and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.
ASIC’s News Hub is where you can find a range of small business resources and information, as well as stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 news from ASIC. A recently published article shows the statistics of COVID-19’s impact on small business, as well as further links to information to support your small business.
If your business has been impacted by COVID-19, www.business.gov.au has published information regarding JobKeeper payments, government grants, support for sole traders, companies and employers as well as other information relating to business and COVID-19.
- 20-086MR Details of changes to ASIC regulatory work and priorities in light of COVID-19
- ASIC letters to general and life insurers in the current COVID-19 environment
- ASIC responds to lenders’ request for clarification on lending during COVID-19 pandemic
A reminder that many entities regulated by ASIC can now submit their industry funding annual return online using the ASIC Regulatory Portal. Industry funding annual returns must be lodged by close of business Thursday 1 October 2020.
ASIC sent correspondence to each impacted regulated entity with instructions on how to submit their industry funding annual return.
Regulated entities that have not created an ASIC Regulatory Portal account will receive correspondence to the registered office address, including a unique ‘security key’, which is needed to create an account. If you did not receive your correspondence during July, see our FAQ’s in the ASIC Regulatory Portal for other ways to register and log on.
For more information on industry funding, visit our website.
Closing your small business - Australian Taxation Office (ATO) webinar
If you have decided to close your business, this session is for you. The process can take time depending on your business size and complexity. This session explains what you need to do and introduces services that offer further assistance and guidance through the process.
As these webinars are interactive online seminars presented by experienced tax officers, you can ask questions to help you apply the information to your situation.
Find out more or register for a live session on the ATO website.