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Reform of Australia's CFC rules


In the global economy, controlled foreign companies (“CFC”) rules must protect the Australian tax base from abuse involving tax havens and preferential regimes but, at the same time, must not hinder Australian multinationals in the establishment of genuine offshore operations. While Australia’s CFC rules were introduced in 1990, the broad design of the rules followed that developed in other countries in preglobalisation times. This article analyses the key design features of Australia’s CFC rules (including recent reforms) to determine whether the design is appropriate in the global economy and, where it is not, the article makes recommendations for reform.

Author profile

Lee Burns
Lee Burns is Professor in Taxation Law, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, specialising in international and comparative tax law. Lee is the author of Controlled Foreign Companies: Taxation of Foreign Income (1992) and co-author of Interests in Non-Resident Trusts: A Review of Conflicting Regimes (1997). Lee has authored many papers and articles on international tax and has advised Treasury and the Board of Taxation on the reform of Australia's anti-deferral regimes. Lee was the 2007 recipient of the Graham Hill Award for contribution to the Australian tax profession. - Current at 02 January 2012
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