Apologies and excuses

Firstly apologies for delays since the last Bugle.

Rest assured that it is not a lack of issues and concerns, but more a question of business and time.

Harry is here to help you

In fact there is no Harry here to help you, but just some intelligent and enthusiastic people picked up along the way. Our new personnel includes as lawyer and migration agent, Quentin Kuo, and paralegals Erin McSweeney and Joshua Beale.

Centenary of Anzac

The centenary of the Anzacs' landing at Gallipoli has taken a lot of the coverage from other events, not least including the centenary of the Armenian genocide, which coincided with the Gallipoli landing and the First World War. In this it is estimated that up to 1,500,000 Armenians were either killed or let die in massacres and forced movements carried out under the Ottoman Empire - a precursor of the Nazi holocaust, the Cambodian auto-genocide, the Rwandan genocide, Darfur, and the list that goes on for events which there was to be "never again". All food for thought as we watch huge refugee movements with disastrous consequences. People are being pushed to leave places in which they can no longer survive.

Australian immigration

Besides the push factor there is also a pull factor in the movement of peole around the world. The pull factor plays the major role in Australia's immigration. Although the economy is slowing down, this country still remains an attractive choice for immigration both legal and illegal.

457 visa

The Australian government's instigated review of 457 temporary work recommends easier access to employment of foreign workers. We now have to wait for its implementation.

The 457 visa is an attractive option for a relatively quick entry into Australia and then a transition to permanent residence by continued sponsorship of the employer 2 years on.

Finding the right employer

Non-residents can source employers online, through direct contact while in Australia on other visas, through employment consultants and agencies, and through acquaintances and friends.

Self-employed?

Not many people realise that in fact the "employer" may be effectively the same person as the "employee", being a company established by the "employee" (future 457 visa applicant) to purchase a business or an interest in a business in Australia, and then to sponsor the "employee" into Australia. After succeeding in business then the "employee/employer" then join in a sponorship for permanent residence on 186 Visa.

Franchising

People setting up business in Australia for the first time may be wary of making the right choice, being familiar with the market, finding suppliers, sourcing products, and marketing support. For some it may be attractive to look into acquisition of a franchise operation in Australia, of which there are many. Often a franchise operation offers an easier and faster route to successful business. We are in contact with franchising specialists who may be of assistance.

"Money changes everything" - Cyndi Lauper

The Australian government has recently announced a review of the significant investor scheme migration scheme. This scheme provides for expedited permanent residence for a person who is able to invest $5 million or more in specified investment in Australia. This is similar to the recently abandoned Canadian scheme. The Canadians gave explanation for abandonment of their scheme as the fear that it had been, and could be used for money laundering from corrupt transactions of applicants, particularly from China.

China clean up

China is taking measures to clean up corruption that the Chinese government feels is a brake on economic development and a threat to government stability.

Chinese economy

China's economy has slowed from 10% + annual growth to 7%. As well as corrupt and inefficient practices, the Chinese economy based on exports is still suffering from the 2008 GFC and consequent lack of capacity of importers in USA and more particularly in Europe.

Exports and Chinese urbanisation

Exponential growth in Chinese exports required factories. Factories required workers. Workers required accommodation. Factories and accommodation required construction. Construction required energy and steel. Energy and steel required coal and iron ore.

The lucky country

Australia has iron and coal in abundance. Happy marriage and happy days for China and Australia!

The party is over (at least for the time being)

It is estimated that there are more than 6 million empty apartments in China. Factory capacity is excess to needs.

The Australian government needs to fund its operations otherwise than counting on revenue received from exports to satisfy China's demands for raw materials.

Taxes

The Australian government is coming to the realisation that the problem will not be solved by cutting back on spending but by raising more money - taxes.

International taxes

Much was made at the Cairns 2014 conference of G20 finance ministers' announcement of unified action to tackle tax avoidance by large multinationals. Proposed action was expanded to 44 countries covering 90% of the world's economy. Since then nothing has happened on the international level.

Google tax

Senate hearings in Australia have revealed, as in Europe, enormous sales by high tech businesses but little tax paid since profits are off shored to low tax jurisdictions. The British government has reacted by bringing in the "Google tax". Companies are obliged to report sales and profits and then taxed as if those profits were made by the UK subsidiary, after allowing for tax paid on these profits in Luxembourg, Ireland or whatever other low tax jurisdiction to which they were assigned.

The Australian government has said it will join in such a move but has not explained how or when.

So where does the money come from?

Since any tax recoupment from the international sector is likely to meet spirited, expensive and protracted resistance from multinationals, it looks like the Australian government will have to consider lower hanging fruit.

Lower hanging fruit

The lowest hanging fruit is to broaden and increase the GST, argued on Australia having one of the lowest rates of its OECD mates.

Next is likely to be tax on superannuation payouts, especially on a means tested basis, argued on needs basis.

The question is then posed on how much longer negative gearing can be maintained. It has been argued by economists that this tax deduction for costs of investng in real estate inflates the property market.

Trusts have been traditionally used to split income among family to reduce taxable incomes. There is talk of taxing trusts as companies.

No such thing as a free lunch, with or without a Singapore sling

In response to calls for increased taxes there are those who argue that we have to compete with low tax neighbours. Singapore taxes companies at 17% as against 30% in Australia. Would Australians support the superannuation contribution, car taxes, property taxes and alike that the Singapore government obliges its residents to pay? Would Australians tolerate a level of social security that Singapore can afford from its taxes and offers to its people?

"All I know is that ..."

Changed economic situation means that we have to watch this space for more and interesting developments.

Back issues of the Bugle

If you want to catch up on issues in previous Bugles, you can check them out on our website (www.hillmanlawyers.com.au) where you will find a whole orchestra of them.

Brian Hillman

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