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Simpler reporting for business.

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Simpler reporting for Australian businesses has moved one step closer with the latest release of new Standard Business Reporting (SBR) taxonomy and tools for software developers.

The release is a significant milestone for the SBR program which is part of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) seamless national economy reform agenda, established to cut red tape for businesses and increase Australia's productivity.

Chris Bowen, Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law said 'Existing reporting requirements impose a significant burden on Australian businesses, with many often having to report the same or similar information to 12 Australian, state and territory government agencies.

'Australian businesses will save close to $800 million annually when SBR is fully operational, with implementation to begin in July 2010.'

This latest release, which includes the ATO business activity statement , the ASIC Copy of financial statements and reports - coversheet (form 388), and the NSW Payroll tax monthly return, means software developers can now begin building SBR support into their business and accounting systems.

The SBR program is reducing the amount of information being reported, using a single reporting language that provides standardised reporting definitions, helping to make reporting to government a by-product of normal recordkeeping done by business operators, and developing a secure single sign-on to lodge reports.

Supplying these development tools is one way Treasury hopes to minimise costs for software developers to provide SBR services in their systems, and consequently for businesses and their intermediaries to reap the benefits of SBR from July 2010.

Lindsay Tanner, Minister for Finance and Deregulation said the SBR initiative is an important component of the Government's wider deregulation agenda. 'A key frustration of business is wasting time sending the same or similar information in different formats to each government agency. The SBR program has identified the potential to reduce the number of individual pieces of data businesses have to track, analyse and report by 71 per cent.'

The September SBR release will include the ATO Pay as you go (PAYG) withholding payment summaries, ATO Tax File Number Declaration, ATO Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) Return forms

Media Release of 25/08/2009

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and the WA Payroll tax monthly return.

Chris Bowen said: 'This is an example of the Commonwealth Government working with state and territory governments, software developers, business and the accounting profession to make our economy more seamless and productive.'

Detailed information on the coming releases is available on

CANBERRA 25 August 2009

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