More jobs, less regulation

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Business Activity Statements and income tax returns for small businesses could be a thing of the past if the Federal Government acts on NAB’s Deregulation Plan for SMEs.

NAB presented the plan to Federal Minister for Small Business the Hon Bruce Billson MP today as part of NAB’s ongoing commitment to advocate on behalf of our customers.

“As Australia’s largest business bank, and the bank of choice for small to medium enterprises, NAB takes an active role in advocating for sensible reforms to help business grow and create more jobs for Australians,” NAB Group Executive Business Banking Angela Mentis said.

“Our plan for deregulation in the SME sector offers practical and achievable solutions for governments to act on.”

One of the key recommendations from the plan includes an option for the banks and ATO to work together to automate Business Activity Statements and income tax returns for small business.

“Anyone who has run a small business understands only too well the pressure of complying with monthly BAS and annual income tax returns.

“If the Government and banks work together, we could make real inroads into automating GST and income tax payments using emerging technology for small business, eliminating BAS and income tax returns.

“Obviously, there would be much detail to work through, but the opportunity to effectively remove tax compliance obligations for small business Australia is a significant prize to pursue.”

Other key recommendations from NAB’s plan include:

  • establishing a National Small Business Day as a nationwide day of action to recognise and celebrate the sector’s importance to the economy
  • opportunities to review the remit and scope of regulators in Australia
  • a call for governments to reduce compliance costs for SMEs and review taxes.

“The right regulation encourages competition in a market-based economy, which in turn can benefit consumers through lower prices and a wider array of choice.

“It’s only when regulations become overbearing, duplicative and inefficient that business calls for change. At NAB, we hear these calls form the sector regularly, which is why we are calling for federal, state and local governments to act.”

NAB would like to thank our customer and a range of stakeholders consulted during the development of this plan, including the Business Foundation, University of Western Sydney, Council of Small Business of Australia, Independent Contractors Australia, CPA Australia, Australasian Association of Convenience Stores, Institute of Public Accountants, Small Business Mentoring Service, Melbourne Business Network, Master Grocers Australia, Liquor Retailers Australia and the National NEIS Association.

NAB’s Deregulation Plan for SMEs is available here

Key facts:

  • Last year the Productivity Commission estimated Australia has some 130 national regulators, 350 at the state and territory level, and 560 local government regulators.
  • The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry 2012 National Red Tape Survey found 54 per cent of businesses said regulatory requirement had prevented their business from growing.
  • The Productivity Commission has noted that too many small business people do not feel consulted when regulation is developed and their concerns “are neglected when quantifying the costs and benefits of regulations”.
  • The Productivity Commission’s own research found the consideration of regulatory impacts on small business featured in only 35 per cent of 182 Regulatory Impact Statements analysed.
  • The United States has had its own national small business day since 2010. In 2012, an estimated $5.5 billion was registered in sales to independently owned small businesses on Small Business Saturday from the shopping activities of 70 million Americans.

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