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Prioritise ESS reforms on path to economic recovery

Corporate and M&A, Employment & Workplace Advisory , Executive Compensation & Employee Share Schemes, Startup & Venture Capital, Taxation
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Tax partner Shaun Cartoon is quoted extensively in an article on proposed changes to Australia’s employee share scheme regime.

As the federal government considers significant reform of legislation governing ESS arrangements, Accountants Daily reports that the Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue tabled its Owning a Share of Your Work: Tax Treatment of Employee Share Schemes (ESS) report last week, detailing 18 key recommendations off the back of an inquiry tasked with probing the effectiveness of 2015 ESS tax reforms.

Shaun explains why delivering on the report’s key recommendations should be considered a high priority by the government.

“If we want to become a global leader in tech, and be able to incentivise people to come and work [in Australia], we need to do the things in this paper in terms of further reforms,” Mr Cartoon said.

In his submission to the government’s exposure draft legislation, Shaun has called for ESS concession eligibility, introduced as part of the government’s 2015 reforms, to be broadened by either increasing the maximum turnover threshold or removing it completely.  He explains that, in his work with clients, the use of the concession has been restrictive, limited by the conditions that require a start-up to not be listed on any stock exchange, and not have been incorporated for more than 10 years.

He suggests that the requirements should be relaxed to enable greater participation by companies that “ought to qualify”, but don’t on technical grounds, because the current definition of “start-up” is too narrow.

To read the article in Accountants Daily, click here.

To read Shaun’s submission, click here.

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