General News

Australian tax ruling could hurt runaways

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Jul 06, 2001 | 8:57am EDT

A ruling by the Australian Tax Office last week that effectively barred tax breaks to investors in last year's Red Planet has alarmed the Australian film industry and could result in Hollywood studios taking their business elsewhere, the Melbourne newspaper The Age observed Friday. Commenting on the government's ruling, the newspaper observed, "the consensus is that the rules of the game have now become dangerously murky." Pointing out that Australia attracts only six percent of Hollywood's offshore productions (compared with Canada's 81 percent), David Pratt, who represents the Australian film industry in Los Angeles, said that the country must offer clearer tax incentives if it is to compete with other countries for Hollywood dollars. "Canada is the leader of the pack because of the incentives it builds into the equation,'' Pratt said. "At the locations expos held all over the world, the Canadian Government even brings tax department officials along to help promote it as a production destination. Now how's that for being proactive?"

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