International tax reform : changes affecting the taxation of CFCs and dividends

Addresses two new acts passed into law by the Australian Parliament in June 2004 which have been instrumental in making crucial changes to the taxation of income derived by residents from their offshore investments. The amendments provided by said acts take on an additional significance because they can be said to represent the initial burst of the ongoing international tax reform in Australia that has finally started to roll out. The article focuses on the impact of the amendments as they affect the rules dealing with the taxation of CFCs and their shareholders. It also considers specifically the impact on Australian shareholders of a CFC that derives income from countries other than that in which it is resident. The amendments made to the taxation of tainted services income are also discussed. Finally, the article discusses briefly the changes proposed in a consultation paper dealing with income to be attributed if CFCs resident in certain countries, referred to as broadly limited exemption countries, fail the active income test. The proposed changes will simplify this area to an appreciable degree. Interaction with the taxation of dividends is discussed.