Michael Pascoe writes:

Hong Kong is in the process of doing away with its one-and-a-half century
tradition of a two-tiered work culture whereby expats were paid considerably
more than locals even if doing the same job. But don’t worry – Australia
is moving to fill the gap in the international executive market that the HK
change might create.

As John Garnaut reported in the Smage,
Australia will allow expats working here to pay no tax on whatever they have
stashed overseas.

In fairness, some executives worth importing
from the US have had prohibitive tax difficulties coming under the twin
jurisdictions, but the latest move appears to offer considerable and
discriminatory tax lurks. The foreigner
sitting next to you on executive row could have millions parked in a tax haven
with a big tick from the ATO while you continue to pay your tax lawyer and
accountants heaps to try to just minimise what the ATO wants to take from your

Thus the best way to be an executive in
Australia after you make a pile from a couple of multi-million-dollar
redundancy payments, golden handshakes and sweetheart options deals, is to
migrate overseas, stash the loot in Bermuda or somewhere similar, change
citizenship and return on the appropriate never-ending “temporary” visa and
enjoy the tax-free fruits.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey