No Match Found
23 May 2022
With confirmation that the Australian Labor Party will form Government following the 2022 Federal Election, in this Tax Alert we unpack what this means for corporate taxpayers. Whilst tax was not a key part of the policy platform for either of the major parties during this election, there are some important changes coming that corporate taxpayers should note.
The fate of some of the previous Government’s announced but unenacted tax measures, including the Patent Box regime and small business “boosts” announced in the recent 2022-23 Federal Budget, remain uncertain.
From a tax perspective, there were two key announcements from the incoming Government during this election campaign - a package of measures to “ensure multinationals pay their fair share of tax”, and some tax concessions to increase the uptake of electric vehicles in Australia. The key components of these two packages are set out in the table below.
|Multinational tax package||
|Electric vehicle tax concessions||
From 1 July 2022, low-emission vehicles below the luxury car tax threshold for fuel efficient vehicles ($79,659 in 2021-22) will be exempt from:
More recently, as part of its election commitment costings, the incoming Government has proposed to extend and boost existing ATO enforcement programs. This measure is proposed to bring in an additional $3.1 billion over the forward estimates, in addition to almost $1.9 billion in extra revenue from the multinational tax package outlined above.
As always, the devil will be in the detail, and it is difficult to determine exactly how far-reaching the consequences of these proposals may be without seeing that detail. The thin capitalisation changes likely will be of particular concern to taxpayers in a number of industries where profitability is low during the early phases of the business life cycle. On the positive side, tax concessions for electric vehicles should help move the dial on electric vehicle uptake in Australia.
In the past, incoming Governments have often conducted a stock-take of unenacted measures announced by previous Governments. Whilst it is not yet known if the incoming Government intends to do so, this would be a welcome move to give taxpayers certainty in relation to these measures. Some of the key unenacted measures include:
We expect the incoming Government will support the sharing economy reporting regime and small business boosts, however it is unclear whether they will proceed with implementation of the Patent Box regime and tax residency reforms.
It also remains to be seen whether the incoming Government will ask the Board of Taxation to continue with its review of the tax treatment of digital assets.
A change in Government can mark a major shift in the tax policy landscape. This time, however, it would seem that the proposed changes are very much limited in scope, although they could have a significant impact on some corporate taxpayers. It is likely to be some time before we see further details of these changes, as the Treasury gets up to speed with the proposals and is able to undertake consultation on these measures. In the meantime, corporate taxpayers should follow the progress of these measures. There are both risks and opportunities amongst these changes, and with a 1 July 2023 start date on the thin capitalisation proposals, there is unlikely to be a long lead time between enactment of these measures and their effective date.
© 2017 - 2022 PwC. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.