Structuring outbound infrastructure investment – 2018 National Infrastructure Conference



Outbound investment has become an increasingly important pillar in Australia’s economic growth, and equally an increasing focus for investors large and small.

Growing protectionist mindsets taking hold internationally among some of our largest recipients of outbound investment, combined with a complex domestic regulatory setting, mean that what should be a fairly straightforward practice is becoming somewhat fraught.

At May’s National Infrastructure Conference, Edward Consett, ATI (EY) will present a session on ‘Outbound infrastructure investment – key issues in structuring outbound investments’.

We spoke with Edward about some of the issues facing investors and their advisers.

“Australia’s high infrastructure asset prices, strong dollar and the continued growth of domestic funds available for investment mean that Australian investors are being increasingly encouraged to seek infrastructure opportunities offshore," Edward said.
Edward Consett, ATI

"In my session, I intend to help delegates make sensible comparisons of the potential tax-related outcomes arising from available opportunities, while also providing details of alternative revenue authority approaches seen overseas.

“Stepping through the key decisions and implications for Australian investors looking at foreign infrastructure assets should equip delegates with a strong understanding of the key principles, relevant to infrastructure, that underpin Australia’s outbound tax system, helping them make and communicate sensible structuring decisions.”

Covering common offshore infrastructure investment structures and their consequences for Australian investors, Edward’s session will also look at domestic considerations, the concessions and the penalties applicable to Australian infrastructure investors, the approaches of various overseas revenue authorities, and related practical issues.

“In theory, investing offshore from Australia should be relatively straightforward. However, our mismatch of historic and recent legislative regimes, overlayed with existing case law and ATO practice, means that unexpected tax risks can hide within otherwise straightforward investment structures.”

As a Director in EY’s Transaction Tax team, Edward advises project originators, financiers and funds on the structure of domestic and offshore infrastructure investments. He is a member of The Tax Institute and Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and a lecturer at the University of Melbourne.

This year’s conference program will also cover social PPPs, anti-avoidance rule application, financing principles, and valuations. It will also include a focus on economic infrastructure and trusts. Christopher Voyce from Macquarie Capital and Jeremy Hirschhorn from the ATO will deliver keynote addresses.

The 2018 National Infrastructure Conference will takes place on 17-18 May in Melbourne. Find out more about the program on our website.

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