Review of Australia’s corporate tax residency rules

By Theo Sakell - October 24, 2019

The Board of Taxation has provided Pitcher Partners the opportunity to make comments on their ‘Corporate Tax Residency Consultation Guide’ (the Consultation Guide). The full submission prepared is available via the link below.

What is the Corporate Tax Residency Consultation Guide about?

The Consultation Guide seeks comment on whether, and, if so, how, the Australian residency rules for companies could be reformed in light of modern practices.

The current Australian residency rules for companies were introduced in 1930. Since then, there have been significant changes impacting how businesses operate internationally: lowering trade barriers, globalisation and the advent of the digital economy. 

The key issue raised in the Consultation Guide prepared by the Board of Taxation is how the residency of an entity should be determined given these developing cross-border transaction trends.

Why are we submitting our comments?

Pitcher Partners is making comments on behalf of the businesses and business owners who appear in the sector commonly referred to as the middle market, a sector that we actively advise on taxation and other business services matters.

What have we said in our submission back to The Board of Taxation?

We have suggested that reform of the residency rules should promote certainty, should be developed with all (not just large) corporate taxpayers in mind and should continue to support Australian businesses that seek to grow their businesses internationally – including reducing the governance and compliance costs associated with the new rules.

Our submission puts forward our preferred solution and provides an alternate solution.

Our preferred solution is that an incorporation-only test – basing residence on the company’s country of incorporation – be adopted.

Our alternate solution is that a two-limbed approach is used – central management and control of the company is in Australia and it carries on a business in Australia. However, to overcome the difficulties with the existing central management and control test, we proposed that the location of central management and control be determined by applying specific statutory criteria.

To read the full response made, you can access a full copy of the submission by clicking here.


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