Progress on Tax Competitiveness

The Business Council of Australia has welcomed ALP and Democrat support for a bill that will improve Australia’s commercial competitiveness in the global economy.

The New International Tax Arrangements Bill 2003 passed through the Senate today.

BCA Chief Executive Katie Lahey said that the ALP and Democrats have also indicated they will support the next step of international tax reform – the New International Tax Arrangements (Participation Exemption and Other Measures) Bill 2004 – which was debated in the Lower House today.

“Together these two Bills represent major structural tax reform. These measures are crucial steps in removing distortions and unnecessary complexity in how our businesses operate offshore,” Ms Lahey said.

The reforms address ongoing distortions and biases in Australia’s international tax system and remove barriers to efficient growth for Australian companies.

Once implemented, the reforms will simplify overly complex areas of Australia’s international taxation system such as the Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) rules.

“It is now up to the government to see these measures are enacted before the new financial year to ensure business certainty.

To compete effectively and secure future growth, Australia needs tax arrangements that facilitate the flow of global investment to Australia and assists Australian business to expand into international markets,” Ms Lahey said.