The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has outlined three economic bills that recently passed the Senate and bring notable changes to the retail industry.
The first bill regulates gift cards issued across Australia under a new law, which will enforce a minimum three-year expiry period starting from late next year.
However, many retailers and the ARA were against the expiry extension in this law.
According to ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman, the new Federal legislation will remove inconsistencies which were caused when NSW acted alone on similar legislation at the start of this year.
“Although the ARA were not impressed with the three-year extension, we called for an 18-month transitional period for retailers to get rid of old stock.
“Instead we were left with a 12-month transitional period, placing more strain on retailers already operating in an unstable environment. We will continue to lobby for exemptions to the new law to ensure the impacts on retailers are limited.”
The second bill, Australian Consumer Law Review, covers new requirements under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which brings changes to pricing rules regarding fees and charges, product safety provisions as well as the extension of consumer guarantees.
In addition, the third legislation, Lower Taxes for Small and Medium Businesses Bill 2018, allows small retailers to receive a lower tax rate five years earlier than expected.
As per the legislation, the small business corporate tax rate will drop to 26% during the financial year 2020-21 followed by 25% during the next financial year.
Zimmerman said: “At 30% for all businesses operating over the $50m turnover threshold, Australia’s top corporate tax rate remains one of the highest in the developed world.”