Australia’s hybrid mismatch rules are designed to prevent multinational corporations from exploiting differences in the tax treatment of an entity or instrument under the laws of two or more tax jurisdictions.
In the 2019-20 Budget, the Government announced that it would make a number of technical amendments to clarify the operation of those rules. The amendments will:
- clarify that the rules apply to multiple entry consolidated groups (MEC groups) in the same way as consolidated groups;
- clarify that, for the purpose of applying the hybrid mismatch rules, the definition of ‘foreign income tax’ does not include foreign municipal or State taxes;
- clarify the operation of the hybrid mismatch rules for trusts; and
- ensure the integrity rule appropriately applies to arrangements that have been designed to circumvent the operation of the hybrid mismatch rules, and specify that, in certain circumstances, the integrity rule can apply where other hybrid mismatch provisions have applied.
The Government has also decided to make technical amendments to:
- clarify the operation of the dual inclusion income on-payment rule; and
- allow franking benefits on distributions made on Additional Tier 1 capital instruments, where the distributions give rise to an entitlement to a foreign income tax deduction and the Commissioner is notified that the foreign income tax deduction will not be claimed.
The Government has now released exposure draft legislation and explanatory materials to implement these amendments.
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