Australia at a glance – January 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.

January 2021

  1. The Corporations Act 2001, administered by ASIC, is a national statute governing the activities of corporations operating in Australia. Prior to 2001 the laws were administered by the relevant states and territories.
  2. Workers’ compensation is a form of mandatory insurance applicable in each state or territory. An employer must have cover for themselves and their employees in case they are injured whilst at work or become sick due to their work.
  3. Australia has three levels of government, Federal, State and Local government. Federal is responsible for income tax, GST and immigration among many other areas. State is responsible for taxes such as payroll, stamp duty, property and a variety of other obscure taxes and duties. Local generates revenue via other means but has no ability to levy taxes of any type.
  4. Sydney is Australia’s largest city, but not its capital, Canberra is the country’s capital city. Canberra was built specifically to be Australia’s capital city as both Sydney and Melbourne had reasons for being denied.
  5. Under Australian tax law, non-cash benefits provided to an employee such as accommodation or a motor vehicle are subject to Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT). The FBT tax rate is 47% and is payable by the employer (not by the employee).
  6. The Australian GST system was introduced in 2000 and is modelled on the European VAT system. The rate is 10%, with few exceptions, and with no other rates. The threshold is AUD 75,000.
  7. All Australian companies are legally required to have an ‘ordinarily resident’ director – a director who resides in Australia.
  8. 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.
  9. The head of the government of a State is a Premier, the head of the government in a Territory is a Chief Minister and the head of the Federal Government is a Prime Minister.
  10. Queen Elizabeth is the Queen of Australia. Her representative in Australia is the Governor-General.

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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