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Update of Economic and Fiscal Outlook
September 2, 1998
Labor Isolated on Tax Reform
September 22, 1998
Update of Economic and Fiscal Outlook
September 2, 1998
Labor Isolated on Tax Reform
September 22, 1998

Reform Abolishes Annual Returns

NO. 095



As part of its desire to cut costs for business and develop a pro-enterprise system of corporate law the Government will abolish the need for 650,000 proprietary companies to lodge their Annual Returns in 1999-2000 and expand that relief to 1 million proprietary companies in 2000-2001, it will also include a review of Corporations Fees.

“Phase Two of the Corporate Law Economic Reform Program (CLERP) will continue the direction and build on the achievement of the Program to date. CLERP SEVEN will assist business with a range of initiatives to reduce the volume of material that is lodged with ASIC whilst improving the quality and usefulness of the information in the ASIC data base.” the Treasurer said.

CLERP SEVEN with its focus on reducing the paper compliance burden of Australian companies, will propose initiatives that will enable ASIC to make greater use of communications technology. It will also look at a fundamental overhaul and review of the large range of paper based documents that the law still requires companies to lodge.

Key proposals for reform include:

  • The establishment of a Business Advisory Board, to provide strategic advice on the direction and initiatives of the ASIC Information Division;
  • Initiatives to assist ASIC in making optimal use of new communications technology such as legislative changes to allow information lodgment electronically and over the Internet and introducing alternative and easier payment systems such as credit cards and EFTPOS for paying fees;
  • A ‘no change – no lodge’ policy which will provide that from year 1999-2000 proprietary companies will not need to lodge an Annual Return where there have been no changes to the information held by ASIC.
  • From the year 2000-2001 proprietary companies will not receive an Annual Return and nor will they need to lodge one. However companies will be required by law to notify ASIC immediately of any changes to the matters which were previously contained in the annual return.
  • A review of fees set under the Corporations Law with the objectives of reducing fees to be paid by small business and reducing the complexity of fee arrangements.

The proposals will be released in a Proposal Paper in the next parliamentary term. They will be developed in full consultation with the Business Regulation Advisory Group (established to assist with the CLERP process), ASIC, the wider business and investor community and its professional Advisers.


17 September 1998

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Senator Ian Campbell

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