The government introduces new laws on backdating resignations
ASIC has announced that:
- The Federal Government has introduced new laws to help combat illegal phoenix activity.
- From 18 February 2021, a company director will not be able to backdate their resignation more than 28 days or resign if it means the company would be left without a director
- Backdating resignations was a common tactic used by directors to engage in illegal phoenix activity
The reforms require resigning directors to notify ASIC
The reforms prohibit company directors from improperly backdating their resignation or leaving a company with no directors.
From 18 February 2021, the resigning director or the company will need to notify ASIC of a director resignation within 28 days. Where ASIC is not notified within 28 days, the effective resignation date will be the document lodgement date. For example, if a director resigns on 1 March 2021 and does not notify ASIC of their resignation until 1 August 2021, ASIC will record their resignation as 1 August 2021 on the corporate register. To fix an earlier date, the company or director must apply to ASIC or the court.
Applications to ASIC should be made within 56 days of the claimed registration date.
The reforms also prohibit companies from removing the last remaining director on ASIC records, leaving a company with no directors. ASIC will reject submissions of Form 484 Change to company details or Form 370 Notification by officeholder of resignation or retirement to cease the last appointed director without replacing that appointment.
Changes to Social Security measures
Social Security changes include extending COVID-19 eligibility criteria The Federal Government has spelled out a range of changes to Social Security measures. They include:
- A $50 per fortnight boost to JobSeeker payments from 1 April;
- Increasing the income-free earnings to $150 a fortnight from 1 April;
- Temporarily extending the waiver of the Ordinary Waiting Period for certain payments for a further three months to 30 June 2021
- Temporarily extending the expanded eligibility criteria for JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance (other) for those required to self-isolate or care for others as a result of COVID-19 to 30 June 2021.
There are also changes to some mutual obligation requirements.
Super contribution caps set to increase due to indexation
Due to the release of the Average Weekly Ordinary Times Earnings (AWOTE) figure for the December 2020 quarter, both the concessional contribution cap and the non-concessional contribution caps are set to increase due to indexation from 1 July 2021. The new concessional and non-concessional contribution caps are outlined as in the following table.
- Concessional cap (2021-22) Non-concessional cap (2021-22)
- $27,500 pa Standard cap $110,000 pa Maximum contribution under bring-forward rule $330,000
It is also important to note the $1.6m non-concessional cap threshold is also changing due to the indexation of the general transfer balance cap on 1 July 2021 to $1.7m. For example, from 1 July 2021 a person’s non-concessional cap will be nil if their total super balance on 30 June 2021 is $1.7m or more.
In addition, the bring-forward period thresholds (based on a member’s total superannuation balance) are also set to increase from 1 July 2021 due both to the increase in the standard non-concessional cap to $110,000 and the increase in general transfer balance cap to $1.7m.