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Bilateral tax talks scheduled on UK-Aussie tax arrangements.



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TREASURER

NO.003

Bilateral Tax Talks Scheduled on UK-Aussie Tax Arrangements

Treasury and tax officials from Australia and the United Kingdom will meet in Canberra during March as part of the negotiation process to update the Double Taxation Agreement between the two countries, the Treasurer, announced today. Double Taxation Agreements have the twin goals of avoiding double taxation and preventing tax evasion.

The existing Agreement and an amending Protocol were signed in 1967 and 1980 respectively and need updating to accommodate modern business practice and treaty policy.

The aim of the negotiations is to update the existing Agreement to streamline and encourage trade and investment arrangements between the two countries. The negotiations are important as the United Kingdom is one of Australia's largest trading and investment partners.

Renegotiation of the existing Agreement forms part of the Government's commitment to update aging treaties with major trading partners as recommended by the Ralph Report.

The Australian Taxation Office has already sought comments from the business community on the negotiations through the Tax Treaties Advisory Panel, and is now trying to ensure that all taxpayers that have major transactions with the United Kingdom, and are likely to be affected by any changes to the Agreement, are consulted.

This consultation process is designed to ensure that the renegotiated Agreement recognises the day to day needs and experiences of all those who have dealings between the United Kingdom and Australia.

Interested parties are invited to make written submissions to the Australian Taxation Office by 15 February 2002. Submissions should be addressed to Mr Paul McBride, International, Australian Taxation Office, 2 Constitution Ave, Canberra ACT 2608.

CANBERRA 25 January 2002

Contact: Niki Savva (02) 6277 7340