Significant changes for retailers across pricing, gift cards, product safety and taxes
New laws passed in the Senate last week will shake-up the retail sector. These include laws enforcing an expiry period on gift cards as well as legislation extending consumer rights under the consumer law.
Under new legislation, gift cards will have a compulsory minimum three-year expiry period.
This will be enforced as of late 2019 and remove inconsistencies between States and Territories. The expiry period will mean retailers will need to keep outstanding gift cards as liabilities on their books for three years.
Consumer rights will be extended, with safeguards against price gouging, clarifications around consumer guarantees and changes to pricing regulations.
Retailers must now provide to consumers a single price that includes the price of pre-selected options such as tax, duties and booking fees, while optional extras can remain separate.
The changes have also seen the ACCC’s powers extended, with the regulator now able to require retailers to pass on information about unsafe product including from suppliers.
Lower tax rate for Small Business welcomed
Small businesses will see a reduction in company tax much sooner than expected. Small businesses with a turnover of $50 million or less, dropping 26% in the 2020/2021 financial year and 25% in the subsequent financial year.