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Government recommendations in relation to Family Businesses are just the beginning says Deloitte


4 April 2013: The recently announced Government recommendations following the Senate Committee Inquiry into Family Business in Australia highlight the significant contribution this sector makes to Australia’s productivity.

David Hill, Deloitte Private National Managing Partner says “the recommendations are an important step in the right direction but further action is required to support this under-represented but vital segment of the Australian business community.”

“We applaud the establishment of the Inter-Departmental Committee. We must agree on a universally accepted definition of a family business and collect the data necessary to give family businesses the collective voice they deserve.

“It’s positive to see the Inquiry appears to recognise the legitimate reasons family trusts are used by family groups. We hoped the Inquiry would recommend the creation of a simpler tax platform which would remove much of the complexity surrounding the taxation of family businesses, e.g., introduction of a tax consolidation regime for family groups or treatment of family groups as a single tax unit. Such recommendations did not arise from the Inquiry, which may be a missed opportunity,’ added Mr Hill.

Deloitte Private welcomed the following from among the Government’s twenty one recommendations:

  • Tightening of the data gathering process to give Family Businesses the voice they require for policy setting
  • Establishing a federal interdepartmental committee to identify policy issues for family businesses and better understand the sector’s profile and economic contribution
  • Recognising the legitimate reasons for the use of family trusts
  • Lifting the 50 shareholder limit for private businesses and the 80-year maximum lifetime for trusts.
  • David Smorgon, a longstanding client of Deloitte Private and Chairman of Generation Investments, said the Government recommendations highlight how much more work is needed.

“The findings are a start in the right direction but more needs to happen. Family Businesses are contributing enormously to the productivity of Australia and the Government needs to ensure the journey for them is simpler, more effective and supports the huge issues looming around succession planning, particularly as the baby boomers reach retirement age,” said Mr Smorgon.

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David Hill
Deloitte Private
Job Title:
National Managing Partner
Tel: +61 8 8407 7056
Jane Kneebone
Deloitte Australia
Job Title:
Director, Corporate Affairs & Communications
Tel: +61 3 9671 7389, Mobile: +61 416 148 845




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