Foreign fund managers will have greater certainty about application of Australian tax laws to their portfolios following the passage of the Investment Manager Regime bill through parliament.
Senator Mathias Cormann, minister for finance, tabled the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 1) Bill 2015 on Wednesday night.
Schedule seven of the bill amends income tax laws to implement the final stage of the investment manager regime (IMR).
Establishing the IMR regime was a key recommendation of the 2009 Johnson Report, Mr Cormann said, addressing the Senate.
"The investment manager regime reforms are aimed at encouraging greater foreign investment into Australia, and promoting Australia as a financial services centre.
"It does this by removing the uncertainties in the application of Australia's tax laws as they apply to widely held foreign funds and foreign investors.
"In particular, the investment manager regime clarifies the income tax treatment of gains made by these foreign funds and made by foreign investors investing through Australian fund managers," Mr Cormann said.
Financial Services Council chief executive Sally Loane welcomed the passage of the legislation as an important step in completing the Johnson Report recommendations.
"Completion of the outstanding Johnson recommendations will be critical for enabling Australia to gain a comparative advantage in financial services trade.
"Australia has a lot to gain by making financial services a priority as a growth industry," she said.
The free trade agreement with Japan, Korea and China (the latter signed on Wednesday) as well as the Asia Region Funds Passport are "important steps for establishing liberalised trade in our region", Ms Loane said.
"Together with the Johnson recommendations, these are initiatives which are important for delivering outcomes that facilitate Australian financial services exports to Asia and an export-oriented and globally competitive financial services industry for Australia," she said.
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