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China's State Council has issued plans for three new Pilot Free Trade Zones in Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian, and the expansion of its Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone. It also updated its foreign investment negative list and announced trial procedures for national security review of foreign investment in all free trade zones. The expansion of China’s free trade zone program is set to advance the country’s financial reform journey and improve its ability to compete with more established rivals in the Asia-Pacific region.
The ASX has amended its Operating Rules to enhance disclosure requirements and facilitate the expansion of non-conventional exchange traded funds (ETFs), such as synthetic products and foreign collective investments, on ASX AQUA. Current and prospective issuers of ETFs and Managed Funds on ASX AQUA need to understand the new requirements and ensure compliance with them.
We consider the key tax issues affecting business announced in the Budget, including further details on major announcements including multinational anti-avoidance provisions and GST on digital products and services.
The State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2015 (Bill) was introduced in the Victorian Parliament on Tuesday 5 May 2015 to implement the measures announced in Victoria's 2015/2016 budget for (among other things) new stamp duty and land tax surcharges for foreign purchasers and owners of land in Victoria.
Yesterday, Treasury finally released long awaited Exposure Draft legislation to specifically address the taxation treatment of earnout arrangements. While in draft and still subject to consultation (open until 21 May 2015), we now have a clear idea on how a commonly adopted transaction structure will be taxed.
The High Court has granted special leave to appeal the decision in Commissioner of Taxation v Australian Building Systems Pty Ltd (in liq)  FCAFC 133 which held that a liquidator is not required to retain funds from the proceeds of sale of an asset to pay tax before an assessment is issued.
Yesterday the High Court of Australia upheld the decision of the New South Wales Court of Appeal that the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) does not have power to investigate allegations that Ms Cunneen counselled a person to lie to police. This decision has serious implications for past and future corruption investigations and inquiries.
GST is back on the agenda for the national conversation with the Treasurer confirming at the recent Council on Federal Financial Relations Meeting that GST will be charged on electronic imports into Australia. In this article we look at particular aspects of the approaches taken by South Africa and the EU and consider what lessons their experiences provide for Australia. We also examine whether Australia can impose an electronic services tax on non-residents that have no presence here, and how this could be enforced.
Various clauses of the Code of Banking Practice (Code) have been considered judicially, however, the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Victoria in Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Steven Doggett & Anor  VSC 423, handed down in September 2014, is the first authority to construe clause 25.1 of the Code.
In the last three months, there have been two further Supreme Court decisions. The decisions are likely to have far reaching consequences for lenders.
On 18 March 2015, the Australian Government announced it will support most of the recommendations in the Independent Review Report Robust New Foundations - A Streamlined, Transparent and Responsive System for the 457 Programme. The recommendations are designed to strengthen the integrity of the Subclass 457 visa program while being responsive to the needs of the business community.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) released the new Foreign Investment Industries Guidance Catalogue on March 10, 2015 (“2015 Version”) which will supersede the current 2011 Version from April 10, 2015.
Two recent NSW Court of Appeal decisions highlight that what is an obvious risk under s 5F of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) is very much in the eye of the beholder.
The Federal Court has for the first time confirmed that "springboard" relief is available in patent cases in Australia. The Court's findings were made in a patent infringement and invalidity case between two suppliers of residential street lights, Streetworx Pty Ltd (Streetworx) and Artcraft Urban Group Pty Ltd (AUG).
The final tranche of the Investment Manager Regime (IMR) concessions have at last been released for comment. These rules have been greatly anticipated and will provide much needed certainty for foreign funds and their investors once implemented.
Austrade and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) are developing a new framework for the Significant Investor Program (SIV) visa, including a new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) category).
The Australian Government has released a draft of the internationally negotiated rules and operational arrangements for the Asia Region Funds Passport for public consultation.
Following a spate of decisions in 2014 on patent licences the Federal Court of Australia announced two further decisions which provide additional guidance to parties to a patent licence. Both of these decisions are a reminder that in addition to contract law, the parties to a licence of Australian patents should consider the relevant provisions of the Patents Act 1990.
On Monday 15 December the Australian Government announced its 'Efficiency through Contestability Programme', as part of the Mid-Year Economic and Financial Outlook. Under the Programme the current functions of all Commonwealth entities will be reviewed, and some may be subjected to 'contestability' with a view to achieving better value for money.
The federal government has confirmed that there will be 'single-sided' reporting for Phase 3B entities. While the exact details are yet to be provided, this is clearly a significant development, and follows extensive lobbying by ourselves and a number of other parties.
The Final Report of the Financial System Inquiry chaired by Mr David Murray was released on 7 December 2014. Here, we discuss key points arising from the Report and Mr Murray's speech to CEDA.