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Australia Archive

  • December 2014

    Common Reporting Standard grabs 2014 headlines

    December 19, 2014

    One event dominated the world of tax compliance and administration this year: the signing of the multilateral competent authority agreement in Berlin on October 29 to enable the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), the global standard for the automatic exchange of tax information, to operate.

  • November 2014

    G20’s tax evasion concern stymies Australia’s patent box scheme before it starts

    November 26, 2014

    Though base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) took the front seat during meetings between global leaders on November 15 and 16 at the G20 forum, country leaders also expressed concern over the taxation of intellectual property (IP). Patent box regimes in particular were mentioned as a method used by large corporations to exploit tax incentives.

  • GST reform expected to make appearance in Australia’s 2015 white paper

    November 12, 2014

    In 2015, the Australian government is releasing a white paper on tax policy reform, which analysts expect will include suggestions to increase goods and services tax (GST) rate and expands its base.

  • Australia responds to Luxembourg tax deal claims

    November 07, 2014

    On November 5 the US-based International Consortium of Investigate Journalists (ICIJ) released the tax rulings of 548 corporations accused of having ‘secret tax agreements’ with Luxembourg. A follow-up piece in the Australian Financial Review went as far as to accuse the Big 4 of facilitating the agreements in an article titled ‘Big four audit firms behind global profit shifting’.

  • China levies 6% tariff on coal imports, but only on 30% of the market

    November 04, 2014

    China's Ministry of Finance has announced it will introduce a 6% tax on coal imports starting from December 1 this year. Coking coal, which is used for steel production, and anthracite will be taxed at 3%. China had a similar import tax on coal until it was removed in 1997.

  • UK to introduce tax payment summaries

    November 03, 2014

    In a possible sign of increasing transparency from the UK government and tax authorities, the country will become only the second in the world to supply individual taxpayers with a breakdown of where their taxes are being spent, starting next week.

  • October 2014

    Australia’s tax evasion drama: ATO rejects widespread non-compliance as it battles Chevron in court

    October 24, 2014

    Industry and tax professionals have criticised the Tax Justice Network’s methodology in its report that alleges nearly one-third of the largest businesses in Australia are dodging taxes.

  • Wood leads tax team to KPMG

    October 21, 2014

    KPMG has hired three tax lawyers, partner Angela Wood and senior lawyers Ross Hocking and Angelina Lagana, from the severely depleted Maddocks tax controversy team.

  • JWS hires Tang and Grieve as tax partners

    October 20, 2014

    The pair will work as partners in the tax transactional and advisory practices.

  • Majority of Maddocks’ tax team to move to Minter Ellison

    October 20, 2014

    Up to 12 professionals from Maddocks’ tax controversy team will leave the firm to join rival firm Minter Ellison in the next few months.

  • OECD unveils plan for 2014/2015 BEPS work

    October 02, 2014

    The OECD is getting straight back to work on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).

  • September 2014

    G20 tax agenda is not all about BEPS

    September 26, 2014

    The G20’s finance ministers have outlined their plans to minimise global tax avoidance and evasion, which are not only about completing the work of the BEPS Action Plan on time by the end of next year.

  • The BEPS project at halfway

    September 16, 2014

    In this exclusive article for International Tax Review, Pascal Saint-Amans and Raffaele Russo of the OECD explain how the first half of the BEPS Project's work starts the task of bringing coherence, substance and transparency to international tax rules around the world.

  • The tax market reacts to the BEPS 2014 deliverables: Do you agree?

    September 16, 2014

    The OECD today unveiled its 2014 deliverables at the halfway stage of the multilateral organisation’s ambitious base erosion and profit shifting project, commissioned by the G20, which represents the biggest ever review of international tax rules.

  • Australia back on tax transparency drive before G20 meetings

    September 05, 2014

    COMMENT: Ahead of this month's G20 meetings in Cairns, Joe Hockey, Australian Treasurer, has reiterated the Abbott government's plans to clamp down on aggressive tax planning. But, like other jurisdictions including the UK, Hockey's rhetoric on attracting investment risks opening him up to accusations of trying to reconcile two opposing policies.

  • World's leading tax controversy advisers unveiled

    September 05, 2014

    The fourth edition of International Tax Review's Tax Controversy Leaders guide is out now. Find out who the top-rated disputes specialists are in your jurisdiction.

  • ONE adds to pressure on G20 to act against tax evasion and other illegal financial flows

    September 03, 2014

    The ONE campaign describes corruption involving developing countries as the $1 trillion scandal and says the G20 must implement measures such as automatic information exchange (AIE) and the transparent publication of the revenues governments receive if the organisation wants to end it.

  • August 2014

    World Tax Authority: Taking harmonisation to the next level

    August 29, 2014

    Recent attempts at tax harmonisation have struggled to take off. In Europe enhanced cooperation measures are being invoked because of the inability to find consensus. But what fate awaits the notion of a World Tax Authority (WTA)? Would it take tax harmonisation to the next level or, like the Europe-wide language of Esperanto, is this attempt at harmonisation doomed to fail? Matthew Gilleard analyses what has motivated discussion of such a concept and looks at the barriers to implementation.

  • The IMF and international tax

    August 29, 2014

    David Spencer, of the Law Offices of David Spencer in New York, analyses the recent work of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and assesses its growing influence in the area of international taxation.

  • UN survey calls for more tax cooperation in Asia

    August 29, 2014

    A UN body has highlighted the prospects of tax harmonisation and the elimination of tax competition in Asia-Pacific as methods for helping countries in the region to increase the amount of taxes they raise.

  • Australia unveils tax guidance on digital currencies

    August 26, 2014

    Bitcoin users in Australia will have to report and pay GST on their digital currency transactions, after the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced that digital currencies such as Bitcoin are not money or foreign currency under the GST Act.

  • Australia: New GST refund measures remove scope for subjectivity

    August 06, 2014

    The rules that determine the amount a taxpayer can be refunded for payment of excess GST have now changed. The Tax Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No 1) Bill 2014 updates the Taxation Administration Act (TAA) to provide that excess GST shall not be refunded where an entity would obtain a windfall gain.

  • July 2014

    OECD answers your questions about the global automatic exchange standard

    July 24, 2014

    EXCLUSIVE: On Monday July 21 the OECD released the full version of the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters, which requires financial institutions to report detailed financial account information to their governments, which then exchange such information automatically with other jurisdictions on an annual basis. The Standard developed by OECD in response to a mandate by the G20 was first presented to and endorsed by the G20 Finance Ministers in February 2014.

  • How to plan for Australia’s corporate tax cut

    July 22, 2014

    Camron Allen, partner at WTS Australia, looks ahead to next year’s corporate tax cut and outlines what taxpayers can do now to plan for the rate reduction.

  • Australia repeals carbon tax

    July 17, 2014

    Tony Abbott’s government has today won its battle to scrap the controversial carbon pricing mechanism, which sought to place a levy on the country’s biggest polluters.

  • Have your say on ITR's development

    July 14, 2014

    The new website went live in late May. Take the opportunity to influence how it develops by completing our survey.

  • Australian carbon tax costing Qantas $100 million a year set for repeal

    July 09, 2014

    This week, Tony Abbott’s government will lead the charge in the Australian Senate to repeal the controversial carbon pricing mechanism, which imposed an annual A$100 million ($94 million) cost on Qantas alone. Big business welcomes the move, but environmental groups fear it will leave Australia without an effective policy to deal with climate change.

  • Australian carbon tax continues to escape repeal, but not for long

    July 03, 2014

    Repealing the carbon pricing mechanism was the first item on the Tony Abbott-led government’s agenda. Indeed, he may never have become prime minister if he had not promised to do so. Up to now he has failed in his attempts to repeal the tax, but that could all change next week.

  • Australian Taxation Office considers outsourcing tax assurance for large businesses

    July 02, 2014

    The Australian Taxation Office is setting up a pilot programme which could result in auditors of large businesses with turnover of between A$100 million ($95 million) and A$5 billion conducting assurance on behalf of the tax authorities.

  • BEPS and the digital economy: Why is it so taxing to tax?

    July 01, 2014

    Devising appropriate rules for the taxation of the digital economy is one of the most awkward challenges governments have set for themselves in the BEPS project, especially when defining the digital economy is an issue in itself. Aaran Fronda looks at the possible outcomes of the discussion.

  • In search of harmony: Finding a consensus on hybrid mismatches

    July 01, 2014

    Mismatches create opportunities. This is true in any scenario, whether it is the opportunity for a fleet-footed and nimble winger to gain an advantage by exposing the bulky, flat-footed front-row rugby forward who has temporarily become his opposite man, or whether it is in the (equally ruck-filled) field of tax planning. Matthew Gilleard looks at where the OECD is drawing the line when it comes to activity that takes advantage of tax law mismatches in an intended or acceptable manner, and that which is not.

  • BEPS scepticism still rife despite OECD’s attempts at reassurance

    July 01, 2014

    The OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project has been a bone of contention in the transfer pricing arena ever since its inception, with concerns from taxpayers piling up despite constant efforts at reassurance. Sophie Harding discusses taxpayers’ most burning concerns and explores whether the OECD’s BEPS proposals are actually feasible.

  • Transfer pricing risk management: A case for APAs

    July 01, 2014

    Victor Adegite of KPMG Nigeria looks at the advance pricing agreement (APA) option as a tool taxpayers can use as part of their transfer pricing risk management, highlighting the benefits of different types of APA and looking at how APA programmes operate in other jurisdictions.

  • June 2014

    Developing countries want automatic information exchange, Tax Justice Network research reveals

    June 24, 2014

    The Tax Justice Network (TJN) has accused the OECD of not consulting developing countries about the design of the framework for automatic information exchange (AIE), which the G20 has endorsed as the global model for information exchange.

  • Indirect Tax Leaders 2014 now available

    June 23, 2014

    The third edition of International Tax Review's Indirect Tax Leaders' Guide, is all about identifying the leading professionals in this field, which is only increasing in importance. Between its covers, you will find the names, and biographies in many cases, of the world's leading indirect tax practitioners, which were collected after an independent research process. It should give taxpayers confidence that if they decide to hire any of these individuals, they will be getting the best in the field.

  • Australia wants answers from financial industry on Common Reporting Standard implementation

    June 20, 2014

    The Australian Treasury has launched a consultation to discover the views of Australian financial institutions about when the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) should be introduced in Australia, how much it could cost them to implement and comply with and how those costs could be minimised.

  • EY says Australian tax system is in “disarray”; Hockey admits it is “compromised”

    June 18, 2014

    Joe Hockey, Australian Treasurer, labelled the Australian taxation system as “compromised” in a speech to the Sydney Institute last week, while Big 4 accounting firm EY described it as in “disarray”. The criticisms have led to calls for the formation of an independent tax reform commission.

  • New tax treaty allows Australia access to Swiss bank accounts

    June 12, 2014

    The Australia-Switzerland tax treaty is being revised to allow authorities access to secretive Swiss bank accounts upon request.

  • May 2014

    Asia tax directors do battle with lengthy in-tray

    May 27, 2014

    The two-day Asia Tax Forum covered a range of issues and countries, not just BEPS, including dispute resolution and anti-avoidance, transfer pricing and China’s VAT reforms, reports Ralph Cunningham.

  • Avoiding the snares of international tax structures

    May 27, 2014

    International business expansions can substantially increase the bottom line, but this outcome is largely dependent on establishing an efficient structure that helps to ensure financial success. Lee Sheehan, head of tax at Radius, looks at the importance of a clear strategy when setting up tax structures for specific business locations, and points out some of the landmines to avoid along the way.

  • Australia: Draft guidance on new Australian transfer pricing rules

    May 27, 2014

  • Mammoth rise in tax audits worldwide

    May 23, 2014

    Tax audits have risen 73% worldwide, giving corporations around the world plenty to think about when it comes to having their tax affairs in order.

  • World Tax 2016 and World Transfer Pricing 2016: Research opens in May 2015

    May 21, 2014

    The research will start for the 2016 editions of World Tax and World Transfer Pricing in May 2015. Please watch this website closely for further information.

  • Bitcoin users face a global patchwork of inconsistent tax treatment

    May 20, 2014

    Tax authorities around the world have yet to develop a uniform approach to the taxation of Bitcoin

  • Business wants Budget springboard to Australian reform as tax cut looks set to be delayed

    May 15, 2014

    Large employers are worried Australia’s corporate tax cut of one-and-a-half percentage points will be pushed back from its scheduled July 1 implementation date, prompting the Business Council of Australia (BCA), which is made up of the chief executive officers of the country’s 100 biggest companies, to call on the government to quickly move onto the issue of tax reform.

  • Declaration commits OECD and other countries to automatic exchange of information

    May 07, 2014

    Taxpayers must get used to the Common Reporting Standard as the means for the introduction of automatic exchange of tax information around the world.

  • US updates FATCA list of intergovernmental agreements

    May 02, 2014

    The number of jurisdictions considered to have an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) in place with the US for the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has passed 50.

  • Participants in OECD’s work on BEPS action plan emphasise importance of multilateralism

    May 01, 2014

    Politicians, officials and taxpayers spelled out the need for the outcomes of the BEPS project to work for companies and governments at the European Tax Policy Forum annual conference in London this week.

  • April 2014

    According to plan? The world of tax planning is changing, but not as fast as everyone would like

    April 30, 2014

    The world of tax planning is like one big global tug o’ war being played between multinational companies and their advisers, tax authorities, supranational bodies and non-governmental organisations. Everyone has an interest in changing the international tax system. But with everyone pulling in different directions, the pace of change is frustrating for most.

  • Australia: Australian offshore voluntary disclosure initiative 2014

    April 30, 2014

  • Asia-Pacific tax managers rate consistency as highest priority

    April 17, 2014

    Consistency has displaced complexity and predictability as the most important tax factor driving investment decisions in Asia-Pacific. Reputational risk and tax planning, as well as BEPS, also featured as important considerations for respondents to a survey of tax executives.

  • Leek leaves Corrs for the bar

    April 16, 2014

  • Macquarie joins calls for 25% Australian tax rate

    April 10, 2014

    After similar pleas throughout the past year, most recently from the Australian Tax Institute last month, Macquarie Group has now joined the calls for Australia to reduce its corporate tax rate. Macquarie says a 25% rate is necessary if Australia wants to become a regional financial services hub.

  • Quenedey leaves Dentons for King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin

    April 07, 2014

  • Clarity behind US move to add 22 jurisdictions to FATCA list

    April 04, 2014

    It is not a global information reporting network yet, but the US Treasury and Internal Revenue Service’s announcement this week that increases the number of intergovernmental agreements for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) from 26 to 48 in one go brings that idea much closer.

  • March 2014

    Operational TP: When tax function meets finance function

    March 28, 2014

    Frank Schoeneborn, head of global operational transfer pricing in the finance and accounting division at Merck Group with headquarters in Germany, looks at the practical problems in the implementation of operational transfer prices, illustrating the new tax risks stemming from these problems and showing how holistic management can be the solution.

  • Australia: Tax consolidation rules: Potential risk areas

    March 28, 2014

  • Bradbury to head OECD’s tax policy unit

    March 25, 2014

    David Bradbury, former assistant treasurer of Australia, has been appointed head of the tax policy and statistics division at the OECD.

  • Asia Transfer Pricing Focus 2014 now available

    March 14, 2014

    Leading transfer pricing advisers from KPMG in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam bring you insights and advice from across the region.

  • Australia on course to scrap carbon tax, despite reduction in emissions

    March 12, 2014

    Tony Abbott’s government is looking to repeal the carbon tax, even though emissions from Australia’s largest companies fell 7% on average in the first year since it was introduced.

  • Australia’s Tax Institute puts pressure on Abbott to cut 30% tax rate

    March 12, 2014

    Australian businesses will see their tax burden fall if The Tax Institute gets its wish. The Institute has called on Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to cut the corporate tax rate to 25% in line with recommendations made in the Henry Review.

  • BEPS is not the only concern for Asia’s tax executives

    March 10, 2014

    The G20 / OECD project on BEPS is likely to preoccupy tax executives over the next two years, even in jurisdictions that do not belong to either group.

  • February 2014

    Big fish: The world's leading transactional firms revealed

    February 26, 2014

    International Tax Review analyses the global M&A trends over the last year and highlights the leading firms in the field.

  • Doing business in Australia: An indirect tax refresher

    February 26, 2014

    Tim Martino of Baker Tilly Pitcher Partners gives a refresher on the fundamentals of the indirect tax regime in Australia, aspects of which can easily be overlooked by new and old entrants alike.

  • Australia: Base Erosion and Profit Shifting: An Australian Perspective

    February 26, 2014

  • Business Council of Australia tells government to raise GST

    February 26, 2014

    The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has urged the government to slash corporate and income taxes, while raising GST, in a bid to maintain revenue and promote economic growth.

  • Australian shadow treasurer: BEPS leadership must continue at G20 this week

    February 19, 2014

    Andrew Leigh, Australia's Shadow Treasurer, has urged Treasurer Joe Hockey to show strong leadership at the G20 meeting of finance ministers this week to progress global action to tackle base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).

  • OECD standard makes progress towards automatic exchange of information

    February 13, 2014

    Global automatic exchange of financial account information got a step closer today after the OECD published its Common Reporting Standard.

  • OECD seeks increased tax transparency from multinationals

    February 06, 2014

    The OECD has released a discussion draft outlining its proposals on information that multinationals may be required to disclose to tax authorities about their global operations.

  • Rockwell Olivier hires Morris Maroon as head of tax

    February 04, 2014

  • January 2014

    Indirect tax traps: selling goods cross-border

    January 29, 2014

    As non-EU based businesses broaden their markets and their offerings, businesses are increasingly finding that the indirect tax consequences of selling into the EU, the US and Australia create potential barriers to smooth international trading, explain Richard Woolich, Hugh Goodwin, and Matthew Cridland of DLA Piper.

  • The dark side of transparency

    January 28, 2014

    Tax transparency is lauded as an unequivocal good. But is it really this clear-cut? Matthew Gilleard explores the negatives as he ventures into the dark side of transparency.

  • Special features - February 2014

    January 28, 2014

    Read this month's special features on Canada and Tax compliance.

  • Indirect tax traps: Selling goods cross-border

    January 28, 2014

    As non-EU based businesses broaden their markets and their offerings, they are increasingly finding that the indirect tax consequences of selling into the EU, the US and Australia create potential barriers to smooth international trading, explain Richard Woolich, Hugh Goodwin, and Matthew Cridland of DLA Piper.

  • Getting value from advisers: An in-house perspective

    January 28, 2014

    Patrick Connolly is an experienced senior in-house tax adviser who has spent the past 10 years in in-house regional tax roles covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia/Pacific regions as well as head office tax responsibilities. He shares his views on getting the most value from the client/adviser relationship. Paul Dunne, national managing tax partner for KPMG New Zealand and the tax lead on a number of multinational clients, provides his response and comments.

  • Tax, development and the new Millennium Development Goals

    January 28, 2014

    Seth Terkper, Ghana’s minister of finance, and Hafiz Choudhury, senior adviser, International Tax and Investment Centre, discuss the challenges for developing countries in creating tax systems that raise enough revenue to fund development and also encourage investment.

  • Australia: Thin capitalisation and other international tax changes

    January 28, 2014

  • Enhancing cooperation among tax administrators in Asia-Pacific

    January 28, 2014

    More than ever, tax authorities around the globe are required to work together to tackle cross-border tax avoidance and evasion issues. Satoru Araki explains how this could happen better in Asia-Pacific.

  • Abbott uses Davos speech to outline Australia’s G20 aims

    January 23, 2014

    Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia, gave an address today at the 44th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, setting out Australia’s priorities for its G20 presidency.

  • Abbott appeals to Labor to U-turn on Australia’s carbon tax

    January 15, 2014

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has appealed to his opposition to join him in scrapping the country’s carbon pricing mechanism.

International Correspondents