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Thursday, 29 November 2012
Page: 13888


Mr BRADBURY (LindsayAssistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation) (10:00): Today I introduce this bill, which will amend the International Tax Agreements Act 1953 and give the force of law in Australia to new bilateral taxation agreements with India, the Marshall Islands and Mauritius.

The agreement with India is a protocol that will amend the current Australia-India tax treaty signed in 1991. The protocol will promote closer economic cooperation between Australia and India by aligning the taxation of business profits and cross-border services with international taxation norms and by including rules to prevent tax discrimination.

The protocol will also improve the integrity of the Australian tax system through enhanced exchange of information provisions and new provisions providing for mutual assistance in the collection of tax debts.

The bilateral agreements with the Marshall Islands and Mauritius eliminate double taxation on certain income derived by individuals, in particular government workers, students and business apprentices, and pensioners and retirees.

The Marshall Islands and Mauritius are required to provide reciprocal taxation treatment in relation to Australian government employees, students and business apprentices, retirees and pensioners.

These two agreements will also provide a mutual agreement procedure for the resolution of taxpayer disputes involving transfer pricing adjustments.

These agreements follow Australia concluding tax information exchange agreements with the Marshall Islands and Mauritius, which establish a legal basis for the exchange of taxpayer information between two countries and are an important tool in Australia's efforts to combat tax avoidance and evasion.

The agreements with India, the Marshall Islands and Mauritius will enter into force after Australia exchanges diplomatic notes with each of the other countries advising of the completion of their respective domestic law requirements.

Debate adjourned.