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On 12 March 2015 the government released exposure draft legislation, comprising a draft Bill and a draft Explanatory Memorandum, implementing an announcement made on 18 December 2014 that the government would introduce a practical Investment Manager Regime (IMR) and release draft legislation implementing Element 3 of the IMR reforms for public consultation in early 2015.

The exposure draft Bill is the Tax Laws Amendment (Investment Manager Regime) Bill 2015.

The IMR reforms remove tax impediments to investing in Australia in order to attract foreign investment to Australia and promote the use of Australian fund managers.These draft amendments extend the IMR concession to cover investments in Australian assets (excluding real property) that are of a portfolio nature and broaden the “widely held” test. Foreign entities will be eligible for the IMR concession if they directly invest in Australia or invest via an Australian fund manager.

These amendments also simplify the operation of the existing regime and make technical changes to ensure that some entities are not inadvertently disadvantaged or excluded.

Submissions on the proposed legislation are invited; the closing date for submissions is Thursday, 9 April 2015.

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