Trustees of discretionary trusts with real property in New South Wales are reminded to amend their trust deeds by 31 December 2020 to avoid foreign surcharge stamp duty and land tax.
COVID-19 has changed the social and professional landscape as we know it. Whilst the restrictions in place have certainly been ‘unprecedented’ from a social point of view, it has also been a challenging period for many businesses who have had to go through something they have not had to do before (and hopefully will not have to again). Although The Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendments Bill 2020 was passed by the Senate on 1 September 2020 which extends the Government's wage subsidy program by 6 months to 28 March 2021, and despite the Government announcing on 7 September 2020 an extension to the Omnibus laws to 31 December 2020 insofar as they relate to bankruptcies and insolvencies (which we note is still required to pass both houses of Parliament), the relief programs cannot last forever.
On 12 June 2020, the Federal Government passed the latest in a series of Bills aimed at improving corporate governance and combating illegal phoenix activity, the Treasuries Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Bill 2019. Significantly, the Bill makes provision for a director identification number (DIN) regime aimed at curtailing abuses of companies’ separate legal personalities by increasing transparency about those who control them.
In the wake of COVID-19 and the increased uncertainty in carrying on business worldwide, the Australian Government has passed temporary safe harbour measures in order to offer flexibility to companies working through financial distress. In conjunction with the existing safe harbour provisions, the temporary changes provide an added measure of comfort to directors navigating a company’s position throughout uncharted territory.