Federal Budget 2022: Government and regulators
Visa rule changes
The pandemic has created a scarcity of labour. As a result, the Government is relaxing certain work restrictions for a range of visas including eligible Student and Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa holders, and extended visas for certain engineering graduates negatively affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions.
International students and WHM visa holders who bring forward their arrival to Australia will be refunded the Visa Application Charge for Student visa holders who arrive in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 March 2022, and for WHM visa holders who arrive in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 April 2022, inclusive.
And, the Government will also increase country caps for Work and Holiday visas by 30% in 2022-23, increasing overall places available by around 11,000.
The Government has stated that it will also “clarify the tax treatment for income earned by workers under the Australian Agriculture Visa scheme established in MYEFO 2021-22 to respond to workforce shortages in the agriculture and primary industry sectors.” At this stage, we don’t know what this clarity means!
Extension of the ATO’s Tax Avoidance Taskforce
An additional $652.6m has been set aside to extend the ATO’s Tax Avoidance Taskforce by 2 years to 30 June 2025.
In that time, the taskforce is expected to increase receipts by $2.1bn and increase payments by $652.6m.
ABS to work with accounting software
Buried under the wildly exciting headline of Commonwealth’s Deregulation Agenda, is the $19.9 million spend by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to develop a new reporting application to enable businesses to submit surveys on business indicators directly through their accounting software. Excellent. Real time reporting utilising verified data on the state of Australian business.
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