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AUSTRALIA


Investing or doing business in Australia


The latest PwC Australia Private Business Barometer revealed that private businesses are reinvesting in their business to prepare themselves for long-term growth. Businesses cannot purely rely on organic growth as their sole growth strategy, so they are looking at new acquisitions, new product markets and geographic expansion to assist them to achieve their growth targets.


P


wC expects there will continue to be robust growth in areas of the Australian market. However, with pressure on some of our key industries, a growing need for infrastructure investment and significant demographic


shifts bringing superannuation into the spotlight, it is necessary to find ways to drive growth from these emerging challenges. According to PwC Australia’s 2011 Annual Review, business


leaders are watching developments in Asia with increasing interest. As Australia’s connections with its Asian trade partners continue to grow, new opportunities begin to emerge. PwC is committed to the Asia-Pacific region, helping


Australian companies navigate various cultural and regulatory landscapes, advising more clients on Asia-Pacific strategies and assisting Asian firms looking to enter new markets. Support for PwC’s increasing involvement with Asia starts at the top. In April 2011, PwC Australia CEO Mark Johnson participated in a CEO roundtable with 24 of Australia and China’s most senior business leaders, together with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, to discuss how the company could strengthen our ties and enhance bilateral relations. It is important that the long-term considerations are explored as well


as the immediate practical aspects are addressed as you consider moving to, investing or doing business in Australia. Some key things to consider are below.


Visas and immigration There are a number of visa categories available to businesses and business people wishing to come to Australia. The migration program allows for the permanent and temporary entry of business people and highly skilled individuals into Australia although the visa requirements vary.


Tax issues The tax issues that may be applicable to a foreign entity doing business in Australia include: – direct tax implications of the structure selected including income tax, capital gains tax, transfer pricing and withholding taxes applicable;


– tax incentives, and; – indirect taxes that may apply on transaction flows including stamp duty, customs duty, land tax, payroll tax and goods and services tax.


“As Australia’s connections with its Asian trade partners continue to grow, new opportunities begin to emerge”


32 FAMILY OFFICE: ASIA TOMORROW


Personal tax issues Residents are subject to tax on worldwide income and taxable capital gains. Fringe benefit tax (FBT) applies to most non-cash benefits provided by an employer to an employee or an associate of an employee, previous employee or future employee. Although fringe benefits tax is levied on the employer at the highest marginal tax rate, it is not uncommon for the employer to pass on the FBT costs as part of a total remunerations package for the employee.


Contacts: Doug McCluskey. Partner, Consulting. Ph: +61 (2) 8266 5967, doug.mccluskey@au.pwc.com


James McElvogue, Partner, PwC Private Clients. Ph: +61 (2) 8266 8384, james.mcelvogue@au.pwc.com Disclaimer


This article is a general guide to current regulation and law matters in Australia. You should seek professional advice before taking action or relying on any topic in this article.


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