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Australians have been found to be ahead of the e-commerce game in our region, there are rumours of a float for MYOB, and statistics for the retail sector have thankfully shown a rebound of late.

Australia at forefront of e-commerce use

Australia has the third highest business-to-consumer e-commerce sales rates in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report by business intelligence organisation yStats.com, which is based in Germany.

The firm’s “Asia-Pacific B2C e-Commerce Market” report is in contrast to a recent paper from the University of Sydney, which concluded that our retailers were failing to engage customers online and were at risk of losing out to overseas competitors.

The yStats report shows that up to 2018, the Asia-Pacific e-commerce sector is forecast to grow by more than 20% a year, with Australia used as an example of a country that is ahead of the game in the region.
Australia had the third highest business-to-consumer e-commerce sales rates for the region, coming in behind China in first place and Japan in the number two spot.

Internet penetration in Australia was also one of the highest in the region at 80%, with over three quarters of internet users making purchases online.

The report found the travel sector accounted for around a quarter of total business-to-consumer e-commerce sales in Australia, while two of the most purchased physical product categories were electronic products and fashion items, each accounting for more than 10% of the total sales.

MYOB headed for the bourse?

Accounting software provider MYOB could be headed for a float on the Australian Stock Exchange in the first half of 2015, according to news reports.

Ahead of the release of MYOB’s 2014 profit numbers, Fairfax reported that MYOB owner Bain Capital is considering an initial public offering next year, but may also be open to offers from trade buyers or other private equity outfits.

Bain acquired MYOB from Archer Capital in September 2011 for $1.2 billion. Fairfax suggests bankers would value the MYOB business in line with other public Australian companies, REA Group, Seek and Carsales.com.

Fuel tax credit adjustments guide

The Tax Office has issued a guidance document explaining how to change your claim for fuel tax credits on your business activity statement (BAS).

The Tax Office said an adjustment can be necessary when you have already claimed fuel tax credits based on your “intention to use that fuel in a certain way, and you end up using some of that fuel in a different way that gives a different fuel tax credit amount.

An adjustment can also become necessary if you make an error and need to correct it when the fuel tax credit amount you claimed on your BAS was not correct at the time you lodged it. This can be because you made a mistake – such as clerical or transcription errors or claiming for fuel not eligible for fuel tax credits.

Note however that if you forget to claim fuel tax credits that you are entitled to or delay claiming fuel tax credits, this is not considered an error or adjustment. You can claim these fuel tax credits using your current BAS rather than revising an earlier BAS that relates to the date of the invoice.

Get the Tax Office guide on fuel tax credits here.

Retail sales rebound

The Australian Retail Index gives a quick overview of retail statistics, with the latest results showing that the sector has shown a healthy rebound after slower results in recent periods.

Retail sales across all major sectors rebounded last week after a poor showing in the previous week. Overall sales were up 4.08%, which is a significant change to the previous period, which recorded a drop of 3.67%.

Seasonal factors could be coming in to play with the stand out performers being fashion and accessories and sporting and recreational goods, which were both up by more than 8%.

These results were even better than those seen in the same week in 2013, confirming that retail sales are in a healthier position than they were 12 months ago.

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