Foreign corporate amalgamations and mergers – selected Australian income tax issues

Published Date: 1 Jun 2023


As noted by the Board of Taxation in 2003 (see footnote 2), corporations laws overseas allow forms of corporate reorganisations that are not possible in Australia. These reorganisations present challenging Australian tax technical issues when there is a sufficient connection between the reorganising corporates and Australia. In this article, the relevance of foreign law to the application of Australian income tax to such corporate reorganisations is discussed, and selected Australian income tax issues are considered in relation to New Zealand and Canadian corporate amalgamations, EU member corporate mergers and Indian corporate amalgamations. Further, some policy issues relating to apparent defects in Australian income tax provisions in relation to foreign amalgamations and mergers are also discussed. Finally, the author renews the Board of Taxation’s call in 2003 for the ATO to urgently provide some public guidance on the Australian income tax consequences of selected foreign corporate amalgamations and mergers.

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