Australia at a glance – February 2021

These emails are designed for those investing into Australia and those who have plans to do so. We aim to keep the points short and sweet, and to merely list snippets of relevant but easy to read information.

February 2021

  1. Australia is one of only eight countries currently AAA credit rated by all three major credit rating agencies.
  2. Australia operates a full self-assessment system, under which the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) does not review income tax returns on submission but has wide-reaching audit powers to monitor compliance.
  3. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on the planet and covers an area of 344,400 km2. The Australian government has committed AUD 700 million to the continued management of the reef.
  4. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) is primarily responsible for ensuring that individuals and businesses comply with Australian competition, fair trading and consumer protection laws.
  5. The current Commissioner of Taxation (head of the Australian Tax Office) is Chris Jordan. He was previously a partner with KPMG and in his early years worked as a policeman.
  6. Non-tax resident individuals working in Australia or earning income from real property situated in Australia pay higher taxes than Australian tax residents.
  7. Australia has a free health care system known as Medicare which the government pays for by charging individuals a Medicare care levy of 2% of their taxable income. Australia has reciprocal health care agreements with 11 countries including the UK allowing citizens from these countries to access Medicare benefits while in Australia.
  8. Scott Morrison is the current Prime Minister of Australia. He is a former director of Tourism Australia and former director of New Zealand Office of Sport and Tourism. He is also a recipient of the Chief Commander Legion of Merit award.
  9. Australia states levy ‘payroll tax’ – a tax on an employer once the total salaries reach a certain level, from around AUD 650,000 per annum.
  10. Australian tax law requires that all local and foreign businesses that are liable to tax in Australia have an Australian resident ‘public officer’.

This message is not given in the form of an opinion, legal opinion or tax advice. If any of the information provided is of interest or relevance to you or your company we would strongly recommend you contact us or another qualified professional for specific advice. 

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