AUSTRALIAN Treasurer Scott Morrison has announced that the country could sign a formal tax treaty with Israel in the first half of next year.
Addressing an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) function in Melbourne on September 16, he revealed, “The government has now formally commenced negotiations with Israel on a tax treaty that will improve trade and investment by removing tax barriers for business, which I remain hopeful could be concluded in the first half of next year.”
He told guests, “We have had productive discussions with visiting Israeli officials on eliminating double taxation in order to reduce cross-border barriers to flows of people, investment and -technology.”
Most of Morrison’s speech at the AICC event focused on local domestic issues, such as economic growth, terms of trade and restoring the budget.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Robert Goot welcomed the announcement, and said that the treaty would improve trade and investment by removing tax barriers.
“While the details are still to be worked out we would expect that, in line with a similar announcement made by the previous -treasurer in September 2015, a tax treaty with Israel would reduce the incidence of double taxation, provide greater tax certainty for businesses and enhance the integrity of both countries’ tax systems,” Goot said.
“The level of foreign investment from Israel in Australia has tripled over the last three years.”
Noting opportunities for Australian companies to take greater advantage of Israel’s knowledge-based economy – particularly in areas of biotechnology, ICT, education and training – he added, “Eliminating double taxation would also encourage Israeli companies to view Australia as a regional base and as a supplier of sophisticated goods and services.”