Families looking to invest overseas or in Australia need specialist international tax services to help them understand the laws impacting their overseas operations. This can include GST/VAT, transfer pricing, thin capitalisation, withholding taxes and statutory financial audits.
Westcourt is well placed to provide international tax services to commercial global families who are fundamentally not seeking the same tax advisors that help, say, Google or BHP.
The international tax advice provided by Westcourt is focused on smaller emerging middle-market businesses seeking to create or manage a branch office in another country. This position is typically done as part of a strategy for a global footprint but is also for families looking to simplify transactions and streamline tax governance.
Westcourt’s expertise in Simplified Transfer Pricing Record Keeping Obligations and exemptions from thin capitalisation tests or exemptions from employee PAYG Withholding obligations is one of the ways that we help a commercial family business reduce administrative overhead and reduce the administration on their teams.
Further, many business operations in Australia have not yet established a permanent establishment in Australia. So, they are exempted from preparing an Australian tax return or financial reporting. And our focus on the smaller to middle market client base gives us an edge in identifying and simplifying how global families can enter the Australian market.
For families relocating to Australia, we have a deep skillset in tax residency, structuring assets for assets protection, structuring superannuation funds, including offshore rollovers and attending to foreign currency calculations for assets that significantly impact the family’s long-term planning.
Our expertise as international tax consultants can also be seen through our representation with GGI Global Alliance, where Westcourt team members Chair the Asian Tax Group for GGI Global Alliance. Westcourt has also presented as keynote tax speakers throughout Asia (Hong Kong, Perth, Bangkok, Bali + Phuket) on tax residency, transfer pricing, thin capitalisation, foreign purchaser surcharge and the tax register of foreign property ownership, together with local presentations to Australian accountants and lawyers.
We are also skilled in helping US businesses operate mining services in Perth, providing tax services for US citizens and UK residents relocating to Australia, and helping Australian businesses expand to the UK, USA, and New Zealand.
Choosing Westcourt for your international tax needs is a natural choice because:
International tax refers to the tax rules and regulations that apply when individuals or businesses engage in cross-border activities, such as earning income in another country or owning assets in another country. International tax can be complex, as different countries have different tax laws and regulations, and there may be conflicts between the laws of different countries.
To mitigate the potential for double taxation, many countries have entered into tax treaties with other countries. Tax treaties typically provide rules for determining which country has the primary right to tax cross-border activities and how to allocate income between countries. For example, a tax treaty may provide that income earned in one country is only taxed in that country, or that income earned in one country is taxed in both countries, but with a credit for tax paid in the country where the income was earned.
In addition to tax treaties, there are also international tax rules and standards that are designed to prevent tax avoidance and evasion, such as transfer pricing rules, which govern the pricing of cross-border transactions between related parties.
It’s important to note that international tax laws and regulations can be complex and subject to change, and it’s important to seek professional advice if you’re engaging in cross-border activities. Further, the tax administration regimes vary considerably between countries so a local understanding of the different tax jurisdicitons in important. A tax professional that is part of an international network like Geneva Group Global Alliance can help you understand your tax obligations and ensure that you comply with the relevant tax laws and regulations.
The form you need to lodge to finalize your international tax obligations in Australia will depend on the nature of your cross-border activities and your tax residency status. Some of the forms that may be relevant for finalizing your international tax obligations include:
Tax return: If you’re an Australian resident for tax purposes, you’ll need to declare all of your worldwide income on your tax return, including any income you earned abroad. You’ll need to use the appropriate tax return form, such as the individual tax return (for individuals) or the company tax return (for companies).
Foreign income tax return: If you’re an Australian resident for tax purposes and you received foreign income that was taxed abroad, you may be eligible for a foreign income tax offset, which can reduce your Australian tax liability. To claim this offset, you’ll need to complete the foreign income tax return (NAT 74295).
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) declaration: If you have a financial interest in foreign assets, you may be required to make a FATCA declaration to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Common Reporting Standard (CRS) declaration: If you have a financial interest in foreign assets, you may be required to make a CRS declaration to the ATO.
Transfer pricing documentation: If you have cross-border transactions with related parties, you may need to prepare transfer pricing documentation to ensure that the pricing of these transactions is in line with the arm’s length principle.
It’s important to note that the forms you need to lodge may vary depending on your specific circumstances, and it’s a good idea to seek professional advice to ensure that you comply with your international tax obligations. A tax professional can help you understand your tax obligations and ensure that you complete the appropriate forms and provide the necessary information to the ATO.
Likewise other tax jurisdictions will have their own documentations to consider. And getting a single piece of advice from a single network firm covering all jurisdictions s critical to ensuring you are fully compliant.
The amount of international tax you should be paying will depend on your specific circumstances, including your country of residency, the countries where you earn income, and the type of income you receive.
As a general rule, you’ll need to pay tax on your worldwide income if you’re a resident of a country for tax purposes. For example, if you’re an Australian resident for tax purposes, you’ll need to pay tax on your worldwide income in Australia, regardless of where the income is earned.
The amount of tax you’ll need to pay will depend on your taxable income, which is calculated by subtracting any eligible deductions from your total income. The taxable income will be subject to the relevant tax rates, which vary depending on the country and the type of income.
In addition to the tax you pay in your country of residency, you may also be subject to tax in the country where you earn income, depending on the tax laws of that country. To avoid double taxation, many countries have entered into tax treaties with other countries, which provide rules for allocating income between countries and determining which country has the primary right to tax cross-border activities.
It’s important to understand that tax laws and regulations can be complex and subject to change, and it’s important to seek professional advice if you’re engaging in cross-border activities. A tax professional can help you understand your tax obligations and ensure that you pay the correct amount of tax in each country.