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Government cuts red tape for Australian businesses

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The Federal Government has announced new legislation that will reduce the regulatory burden on businesses and improve Australia's corporate reporting framework. The Corporations Amendment (Corporate Reporting Reform) Bill 2010 and accompanying regulations passed by the Government contain key measures that cut red tape for Australian companies. The legislation is also set to implement a number of other important changes to Australia's corporate regulatory framework. Australia’s Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law Chris Bowen welcomed the legislation, stating the legislation would make life easier for businesses of all sizes. "The Government has today taken action to reduce the regulatory burden facing Australian companies. The Bill makes life easier for businesses of all sizes-from the 11,000 companies limited by guarantee, most of which are not-for-profits, to large corporate groups which can face unnecessarily duplication in their reporting requirements," Mr Bowen said. Changes include the streamlining of parent-entity reporting, providing greater flexibility for companies to pay dividends by replacing the profits test with a solvency-type test and allowing companies to more easily change their year-end date. Refinements to the regulatory framework cover disclosure of non-financial information in the directors' report, the statement of compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards contained in the directors' declaration and clarification of the circumstances in which a company can cancel its share capital. Mr Bowen also acknowledged the assistance of the Opposition and minor parties, which unanimously agreed to pass the Bill through the Senate without amendment.

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