Inside this edition, we cover some important updates on:
- Superannuation to cover more employees
- Spike in reports of “money recovery” scams
- Crackdown on “Finfluencers” and other unlicensed financial advisers
- Boosts for small business technology investment
ASIC has cracked down on unlicensed financial advisers on social media, known as ‘finfluencers’. These social media content creators have huge followings, and they often discuss budgeting and investing, without holding a financial services licence.
ASIC has now released guidelines that make it clear that unlicensed finfluencers could face five years’ jail time or fines of more than $1 million if they talk about stocks, investment funds, or financial products.
The guidelines also ban unlicensed finfluencers from sending followers to financial products for the purpose of trading.
Finfluencers cannot rely on disclaimers on posts, or an exemption that applies to media commentators.
Increase in Money Recovery Scams
Scamwatch has warned people to be aware of uninvited offers of help to recover money for an up-front payment.
These scams target people who have already lost money to a previous scam by promising to help victims recover their losses after paying a fee in advance.
Australians have lost over $270,000 to these scams so far this year.
Scammers target previous scam victims and pose as a trusted organisation such as a law firm, fraud taskforce, or government agency. They may have official looking websites and use fake testimonials from other victims they have ‘helped’.
The ACCC advises that if you receive one of these calls or emails out of the blue, either hang up the phone or delete the email and ignore any further contact.
Boosts for Small Business Tech Investment
As part of the 2022–23 Budget, the Australian Government announced it will support small business through new measures in technology investment and training.
Small businesses will be able to deduct an additional 20% of the cost incurred on business expenses and depreciating assets that support their digital adoption, and on eligible training courses provided to employees.
An annual $100,000 cap will apply to each qualifying income year. Businesses can continue to deduct expenditure over $100,000 under existing law.
This measure will apply to expenditure incurred in the period commencing from 7:30pm AEDT 29 March 2022.
For assistance with claiming either the technology investment or training expenditure boost, arrange an appointment with one of our advisors.