Taxes and Accounting in Australia

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Accounting Rules

Tax Year
The tax year begins on 1 July and ends on 30 June. If necessary, after lodging a special authorisation to the ATO, calendar year can be used as tax-year.
Accounting Standards
Accounting Standards in Australia (AAS Standards pre 2005). Australian accounting standards, which are legally binding under the Corporations Act, are equivalent to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs).
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Accounting Reports
Certification of accounts concerns the following accounting reports: the Statement of Financial Performance & Position or Balance sheet, i.e. the the company's statement of accounts, and the Profit and Loss Statement of the financial year certified.
Publication Requirements
Reporting is carried out yearly.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
CPA , Certified Public Accountant professional association
ICAA , The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia - ICAA (the Institute) is the professional body representing Chartered Accountants in Australia.
NIA , National Institute of Accountants.
ASIC , Australian Securities and Investment Commission
FRC , Australian Government Financial Reporting Council
Certification and Auditing
The companies have to seek a statutory auditor to conduct an annual audit of the financial health of their organization.
You can contact the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board or an external auditor: PWC, Deloitte (en anglais), KPMG.
Accounting News
Chartered Accountants website

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
GST : Goods and Services tax
Tax Rate
A rate of 10% of Good and Services Tax (GST) is applicable when selling or buying most goods and services in Australia and when importing into Australia (which includes Customs valuation, Customs tax, transport and transport insurance if it is not already included in the Customs valuation).
Reduced Tax Rate
Some products and services may be GST free but none are GST reduced.
Other Consumption Taxes
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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
Resident companies are taxed on all their profits worldwide at a rate of 30%. Non-resident companies are taxed in their country of origin.
Capital Gains Taxation
Capital gains on assets held by an Australian company and long term capital gains are taxed, in principle, when they are realized at the Corporate tax rate, i.e. 30%.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credit
There are tax incentive measures on investment in equipment and investment of capital.
According to the nature and the size of the investment project, the governments of the States can, for a limited period, grant tax aid in the form of tax relief on payroll tax, stamp duty or land tax. For further information, consult the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research website.
Other Corporate Taxes
Stamp duty: all the Australian States and Territories subject certain transactions to Stamp Duty at rates which vary according to the transaction.
Land tax is collected by each State on the non-revalued value of land, at progressive rates.
Payroll tax is collected from employers. This tax is specific to each State, and its rates and conditions of payability vary according to the State. Payrolls under a certain threshold are exempted (in the State of New South Wales AUD 500,000 ).

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Individual tax rate Progressive rate
AUD 1 - 6,000 0
AUD 6,001 - 35,000 15 cts for each AUD 1 over 6000 AUD
AUD 35,001 - 80,000 AUD 4,350 + 30 cts for each AUD 1 over 35 000 AUD
AUD 80,001 - 180,000 AUD 17,850 + 38 cts for each AUD 1 over 80 000 AUD
AUD 180,001 and over AUD 55,850 + 45 cts for each AUD 1 over 180 000 AUD
Fringe Benefit Tax, FBT Click here for more information.
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credit
Professional expenses, subscriptions to professional reviews, training, expenses related to travel (professional activities), driving expenses for professional activities, gifts and donations and expenses related to clothing for certain professions.
Special Expatriate Tax Regime
For expatriates, it is advisable to look into questions related to tax residence and to set up tax optimization schemes especially to limit taxation on certain allowances, such as the Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA).
Tax exemption for income from abroad for temporary residents, which includes also capital gains, has existed in Australia since 1 July 2006.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
DTA with Australia.
Withholding Taxes
Withholding tax rates are 30% (between 5 and 15% for treaty countries) for dividends, 10% for interests and 15% for royalties (between 5 and 15% for treaty countries).

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Find more on about Taxes and Accounting in Australia.

Intellectual Property

National Organizations
The Patent Trade Marks and Designs Office is the organization responsible for the protection of intellectual property and any requests should be made to them (administration of patents and registration of trade marks and designs). For copyright, there is also the Copyright Law Branch.
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patent Act 1990 & 1999
Valid for 20 years
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Strasbourg agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification
Mark Act 1995
Valid for 10 years Trademark law treaty
Nice agreement
Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement
Trademark Law 1984 & Design Act 2003
Valid for 10 years  
Copyright Act 1968
Valid for 50 years Berne convention
Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
The judicial power is independent.
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Australia is a constitutional State. Foreign nationals can benefit from the same treatment as citizens in judicial matters (including commercial disputes). It is one of the least corrupt nations in the world, and women have the same freedoms and rights as men.
The Language of Justice
Recourse to an Interpreter
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The main source of the law is the constitution of 1901, based on English Common Law. The country accepts the obligatory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Checking National Laws Online
National Library of Australia Portal
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National Standards Organizations
National organization in charge of standards
National certification organization
Organization which publishes standards
Integration in the International Standards Network
Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC)
International Standard organization (ISO)
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
Classification of Standards
AS/NZ is the national certification mark, which also covers New Zealand.
Online Consultation of Standards
Search engine for standards.
Certification Organizations
National certification organization

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Business Practices

General Information
Website about business in Australia
Opening Hours and Days
Saturdays and Sundays closed for companies and administrations. Shops are open all week.

Public Holidays

New Year's Day 1 January
Australia Day 26 January
Good Friday The Friday before Easter
Easter Saturday The Saturday before Easter
Easter Monday The Monday after Easter
Anzac Day 25 April
Queen's Birthday The second Monday of June (except for the State of Western Australia)
Bank Holiday The first Monday of August
Labour Day The first Monday of October, the first or second Monday of March according to the State.
Christmas Day 25 December
Boxing Day 26 December
Holiday Compensation
If a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it is made up.

Periods When Companies Usually Close

Companies do not close for holiday periods but only for public holidays.

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