Australia To Cut Corporate Tax Rate

Australian Treasurer Peter Costello has announced plans to cut the corporate tax rate to 30% in July 2001, from the current rate of 36%. An intermediary rate of 34% will apply during the 2000-2001 tax year (July-June). Legislation to be introduced to Parliament "as soon as possible" will also lighten the burden of capital gains tax, which will apply only to 50% of any capital gain, making a maximum rate of 24.5%, he says. The revenue loss, estimated to amount to around AUS$3 billion (US$1.95 billion) annually after full implementation, will be partially offset by the elimination of accelerated depreciation provisions for capital-intensive industries, such as mining. Costello says he also would consider exemption from capital gains tax on investments in venture capital projects in Australia by nonresident pension funds, including those from the U.S. and the UK.

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