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Media Release 2312/05/2009

Review of the Taxation Treatment of Off-Market Share Buybacks

The Chairman of the Board of Taxation, Mr Richard Warburton AO, today welcomed the Assistant Treasurer’s announcement  that the Government will implement the Board of Taxation’s recommendations to improve the taxation treatment of off-market share buybacks.

In reviewing the taxation treatment of off-market share buybacks the Board considered the benefits that off-market buybacks can bring to companies and the operation of the capital markets, as well as the equity concerns that have been raised about some shareholders benefiting at the expense of others.

The six recommendations set out in the Board’s Report are designed to considerably reduce the heavy compliance and administrative costs that the current taxation treatment imposes on taxpayers and the Australian Taxation Office while maintaining the efficiency benefits of off‑market share buybacks and addressing the equity concerns.

The Chairman expressed his thanks to those who contributed to the review including the individuals and organisations that participated in the Board’s consultation forums, members of the Board’s working group chaired by Mr Brett Heading, officers of the Treasury and the Australian Taxation Office and the staff of the Board’s Secretariat.

The report is available from the Board’s website at www.taxboard.gov.au.