Australian Taxation Office

New or updated materials on ATO website, including

CGT treatment of earnout arrangements

Treasury has released exposure draft legislation regarding the previously announced measure to provide "look-through" capital gains tax treatment of certain "earnout arrangements" - that is, arrangements for the sale and purchase of businesses involving rights to future financial benefits linked to the performance of an asset or assets after sale. The Government has proposed that the amendments will apply only from the day of releasing this exposure draft legislation. That is, the amendments do not apply to arrangements entered into prior to 23 April 2015 and the previously announced transitional measure will not proceed. However, taxpayers that have reasonably and in good faith anticipated the changes as a result of the announcement by the previous Government will have their position preserved. Submissions on the exposure draft legislation can be made until Thursday 21 May 2015.

Corporate tax avoidance

The transcript of Tuesday's hearing at which the Australian Taxation office again appeared before the Senate Economics Committee inquiry into corporate tax avoidance is now available. It is worth noting the ATO comments on areas/industries that were considered "high-risk" and that were a focus of the ATO - the pharmaceutical industry, debt factoring, restructures and highly complex financing instruments.