A move to have Murray area firms report wage data to one body instead of five is being pushed by the NSW Cross Border Commissioner.
Businesses astride the border need to report wages details to the tax office as part of their GST activity reports as well as provide that material to workers’ compensation and state revenue offices, who administer payroll tax, in NSW and Victoria.
A partner in Albury accountancy and advisory firm Johnsons MME, Paul Goonan, proposed only using business activity statements to input wage data.
“All five could be reported on BAS, so businesses do it once and different departments talk to each other and get their revenue rather than businesses try and administer that,” Mr Goonan said.
“That’s got some traction now, so we’re hoping we’ll get an outcome that reduces the burden on businesses.”
Mr Goonan is part of the Albury-Wodonga Cross Border Business Advisory Group which held its last meeting for the year with NSW Cross Border Commissioner James McTavish on Tuesday.
Mr McTavish said the plan for a one-stop wages data point was “getting airplay in the right circles”.
“There’s a great willingness to make things in business easier in all jurisdictions,” Mr McTavish said.
“Put it this way, the conversations are happening between the right people to give us the outcome we’re seeking.”
Mr McTavish said he would advocate the idea in his submission to the Nick Greiner-led Independent Review of the NSW Regulatory Policy Framework which is designed to cut red tape.
After two years in his job, Mr McTavish believes his greatest achievement has been to have cross-border impacts considered as part of “core business” in government and bureaucratic circles.
“There’s always been a difference in the realities for people on the Border and people making policy decisions in Sydney, where people don’t tend to understand the impact those policy levers have for people on the Border,” Mr McTavish said.
“It has been a difficult conversation but it’s now happening.”
The commissioner cited the examples of cross-border groups which have been formed by police and education administrators to tackle anomalies and increase co-operation.