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  • Writer's pictureUHY Haines Norton

Rising Costs of Red Tape - Tina Zawila

As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “But in this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” Maybe these days he would have added “fees and red tape” to this quote.

Large businesses and even non-profit organisations are about to be slugged with a new fee from ASIC called “Industry Funding”. The legislation governing this charge dates back to 2017, however this is the first year that ASIC is issuing invoices.

Essentially, it’s a charge passed onto businesses to cover the cost of ASIC’s regulatory activities. In other words, we are all going to pay (directly or indirectly) to fund the Corporate Watchdog’s activities. It is based on the idea that the entities that create the need for regulation should bear the cost of that regulation, and the levies charged should closely represent ASIC’s cost of regulation for that industry.

In the Corporate Sector; Listed Corporations, Unlisted Public Companies (which includes non-profits) Large Proprietary Companies and Auditors and Liquidators will be asked to chip in, however, the hardest hit by this new fee is the Banking, Financial and Insurance Sector (clearly in response to the banking Royal Commission). In a recent article in the “Professional Planner” (an industry publication) it is estimated that individual advisor levies have increased by 26%, and that the total cost recovery amount for personal and retail (financial) advisors has ballooned from an estimated $25.031 million to a final figure of $33.028 million.

If you are reading this and thinking this doesn’t affect me or my business, think again. I can assure you that the rising costs of doing business must eventually be passed onto the consumer. And it’s not just the additional fees and levies, it’s the increased compliance requirements and the paperwork - the level of information required is, at times, overwhelming.

These rising costs don’t only apply to our industry, ask anyone in the building industry who had to prepare and lodge documents with the QBCC by 31st December just to keep their licence.

I fully appreciate the necessity of industry regulation, to ensure the integrity of our economy and to protect consumers, however, I sympathise with business owners and operators who seem to be constantly burdened by the increasing costs of compliance.

If you need assistance with understanding the compliance requirements, taxes, fees and charges that affect you or your business, please contact the professional team at UHY Haines Norton on 4972 1300.

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