Australian tax: Less taxing down under

THE DEPARTMENT OF the Treasury of Australia in October put forward a 12-point plan including a proposed change in tax code that would let infrastructure investors carry forward tax loss with an “uplift factor” to maintain investment value. The envisioned tax change was in a six-week “consultation period” at the time of going to press.

“This is a positive step,” says Tom Snow, partner with fund manager Access Capital Advisers in Sydney. Snow, also head of Infrastructure Australia, a federal government-created entity established to advise public-private partnership (PPP) activity throughout Australia, feels “very supportive of the government for taking [the] initiative”.

But while maintaining his enthusiasm for the proposed measure, Snow stresses a “disconnect” between any tax change and an uptick in deal flow. Infrastructure Australia has estimated the country will need A$700 billion (€529 billion; $725 billion) of new infrastructure investment in the next decade.

Australia, with its $1.3 trillion superannuation programme, is the fourth-largest retirement market worldwide.