Proposed Interest Deduction Limitations and Applying the Arm’s Length Standard to the Quantum of Intra-Group Debt

Following the work of the OECD and G20, the Australian government is seeking to realign its thin capitalization and interest deductibility rules in accordance with the recommendations arising from BEPS Action 4, including shifting the focus from assets-based testing to profits-based testing for most entities. This is likely to be supplemented with a requirement to evaluate the arm’s length nature of the quantum of an Australian taxpayer’s intra-group borrowings and a unique integrity measure which seeks to deny debt deductions associated with borrowings that are connected with certain related-party asset acquisitions and payments. These measures represent a continued tightening by countries on tax deductions associated with high levels of debt.