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Today’s Top Headlines

UK Expert Says Australian Tax System Unattractive To Foreign Workers

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

29 October 2002

Speaking during a national tour of Australia organised by the ACCA Australia and New Zealand Centre and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu this week, head of the UK's Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Chas Roy-Chowdhury warned that Australia is missing out on skilled foreign workers as a result of its unattractive taxation regime.

The Australian government last week introduced a bill exempting expatriate workers from paying tax in Australia for up to four years on foreign-sourced income and capital gains. However, according to the UK tax expert, this is by no means enough to encourage expat professionals to choose Australia over more favourably taxed locations such as Hong Kong and Singapore.

'There are lots of different aspects of the Australian tax regime which need to be looked at to make Australia an attractive location, both from a corporate perspective and an individual expatriate perspective,' he told the AAP news agency, detailing capital gains tax, the superannuation regime, and employee share options as just a few examples.

Mr Roy-Chowdhury was also dismissive of the broader international tax review launched by Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello over the summer, claiming that it is not far-reaching or innovative enough:

'Basically it seems to me (the government) want to retain the status quo,' he observed.

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