Release of submissions to Senate inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance and oil and gas industry

The non-confidential submissions made to the Senate inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance and Australia's offshore oil and gas industry are now available. Of particular interest is the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) general submission which indicates among other information, its concerns around exploration, supply chain (i.e. marketing, procurement and shipping hubs) and related party debt financing. A separate ATO Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) submission notes that areas of ATO focus for PRRT cover assessable receipts, deductible expenditure, transferable exploration expenditure, starting base expenditure, governance and record keeping.

Consultation on application of incentives for ESIC investment

The ATO has released the following new documents for consultation relating to investments in early stage innovation companies (ESIC):

·       the early stage innovation company decision-making tool;

·       a fourth discussion paper on technical issues relating to company level tests; and

·       the definition and description of accelerator programs.

Stapled Structures Consultation paper

The Government has released a consultation paper which seeks stakeholder views on potential policy options in relation to stapled structures, the taxation of real property investments and the re-characterisation of trading income. This consultation paper is not limited to specific integrity or compliance issues previously highlighted by the ATO. Rather the Government seeks to undertake a holistic examination of the taxation of investment income derived using these structures, including the dichotomy between trading and passive income.