Budget 2019: International agreements

April 2019

The Government has been busy securing international tax and trade agreements. We note these as Australia's role in the region, security, and export markets rely on these agreements. Here's what's in progress.

Australia-Israel Tax Treaty

The Government signed the Convention between the Government of Australia and the Government of the State of Israel for the Elimination of Double Taxation with Respect to Taxes on Income and the Prevention of Tax Evasion and Avoidance on 28 March 2019. The Convention relieves double taxation and lowers withholding tax rates on interest, dividend and royalty payments.

Australia Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement

The Governments of Australia and Hong Kong signed a free trade agreement on 26 March 2019. This agreement has not as yet been ratified. Under this agreement zero tariffs will be locked-in on goods, market access will be guaranteed for services suppliers, and conditions for two-way investment defined.

Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

The governments of Australia and Indonesia signed the Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement on 4 March 2019. The agreement reduces non-tariff barriers to trade and over time will allow 99% of Australian goods exports to enter Indonesia duty free or with significantly improved preferential arrangements. This agreement is yet to be ratified.

More countries added to information exchange list

Effective from 1 January 2020, the following countries will be added to the list of those exchanging taxpayer information. As part of this, residents of these countries are eligible to access a reduced withholding tax rate of 15% (instead of the default rate of 30%) on certain distributions from Australian Managed Investment Trusts (MITs).

  • Curaçao
  • Lebanon
  • Nauru
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Qatar
  • United Arab Emirates

More work and holiday visas for Indonesians

Date of effect: 2019-20

The Government will seek to increase the annual cap for Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visas available to Indonesian citizens from 2,500 to 5,000 over a six year period from 2019-20 to 2024-25.

More from the 2019 Budget

More Information

Of course, until an election is won, we can't say which measures will come into play, however if you have concerns or questions about how these measures may impact you or your business, please contact us in 02 9957 4033. 

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This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.

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