InFocus July 2020 - Volume 29 Issue 6

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Fee indexation – new fees now apply

As of 1 July 2020, some ASIC fees have changed based on an increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

For a list of our current fees, visit Fees for commonly lodged documents.

For more information about fee indexation, visit our website.

Registered Agent Compliance Programs

ASIC recently commenced compliance programs to review the conduct and eligibility of registered agents against ASIC’s registered agent terms and conditions (T&Cs).

The aim of these programs is to assist registered agents to understand their obligations and ensure all conduct adheres to standards as set out under the T&Cs and the Electronic Lodgement Protocol (ELP).

As a result, ASIC has;

  • Cancelled the registered agent status of a group of agents for operating under deregistered companies.
  • Issued corrective actions to registered agents with repeated failures to download company annual statements.
  • Cancelled a significant number of online user accounts after agents told us they were no longer authorised.
  • Suspended some agents for failing to respond to compliance notices.

It is important that registered agents maintain their contact details and regularly review the T&Cs and the ELP to ensure that business practices and conduct continues to meet requirements.

For more information about the registered agent terms and conditions please visit our website.

Reminder: financial reporting thresholds now increased

On 1 July 2019, the financial reporting thresholds for ‘large’ proprietary companies increased to help ease the burden on small businesses.

From financial years commencing on or after 1 July 2019, a proprietary company will be defined as 'large' for a financial year if it satisfies at least two of the below criteria:

  • the consolidated revenue for the financial year of the company and any entities it controls is $50 million or more;
  • the value of the consolidated gross assets at the end of the financial year of the company and the entities it controls is $25 million or more; and
  • the company, and any entities it controls, have 100 or more employees at the end of the financial year.

Large proprietary companies must prepare and lodge a financial report and a director's report for each financial year. The accounts must be audited unless ASIC grants relief.

If a company does not meet at least two of the above criteria, it is 'small'. However, in some circumstances, small proprietary companies may also have to lodge financial reports.

ASIC has extended the deadline for lodgement of financial reports by one month for certain balance dates up to, and including, 7 July 2020 balance dates. The extended deadlines aim to assist those whose reporting processes take additional time due to current remote work arrangements, travel restrictions and other impacts of COVID-19.

Where possible, entities are encouraged to lodge within the normal statutory deadlines, having regard to the information needs of shareholders, creditors and other users of their financial reports, or to meet borrowing covenants or other obligations.

For more information about lodgment financial reports, including who must lodge, visit our website.

ASIC’s Interim Corporate Plan for 2020-21

On 11 June 2020, ASIC published its Interim Corporate Plan, which sets out five priorities to tackle the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • protecting consumers from harm at a time of heightened vulnerability
  • maintaining financial system resilience and stability
  • supporting Australian businesses to respond to the effects of COVID-19
  • continuing to identify, disrupt and take enforcement action against the most harmful conduct, and
  • continuing to build our organisational capacity in challenging times.

Check to ensure your business name or company details are up-to-date

Use tax time as a reminder to check to ensure your business name or company details are up-to-date. This can include your address and holder details.

You can use our online services to check your details. Remember, you can check and change your business name details through ASIC Connect.

Company changes can be made using our online services.

COVID-19 resources for small business and links we like

ASIC resources

ASIC has recently launched News Hub, where you can find small business resources and information, as well as stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 news from ASIC. Recently published articles include:

  • These steps you can take to protect your small business from the impact of the closure of other small businesses, seeking advice from trusted business advisors and what to do if you’re owed money.
  • As the director of a company trading a business, it’s your legal duty to monitor the financial position of your business to ensure it can pay its debts when they are due. Information regarding insolvency, temporary relief measures and trusted advisors can be found here.
  • If your company has been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, this article provides information on closing, winding-up or restructuring a company as well as some mental health resources.

ASIC’s MoneySmart website contains useful information if you are affected by COVID-19. It provides information on early access to superannuation, protecting yourself from scams, dealing with cancellations and refunds 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).

External resources

The Australian Government through the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has provided funding to Rural Financial Counselling Service providers. This funding allows them to offer the Regional Recovers Small Business Support Program.

If you are an eligible small business in rural and regional Australia, you can connect with the Rural Financial Counselling Services provider in your area by visiting their website or telephoning 1300 771 741.

If your small business has been impacted by COVID-19, www.business.gov.au has published information regarding financial assistance and support for sole traders, companies and employers as well as other information relating to business and COVID-19.

Links we like

Last updated: 01/07/2020 01:54