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Branch attribution


The attribution of profits to branches or permanent establishments (PEs) is exceptionally complex under Australian law. Branch attribution is also becoming more difficult due to the current base erosion and profit shifting work on branch mismatch structures and Australia’s own introduction of the new multinational anti-avoidance law and diverted profits tax. This article focuses on PE attribution for banks, from an Australian inbound and outbound perspective, and describes how our approach compares to the authorised OECD approach and what other countries are doing in practice. This article also discusses a number of current practical issues and ATO focus areas in branch attribution, and how those issues would be dealt with under the authorised OECD approach. Many of these issues will also be relevant to insurance companies and other financial services entities. The article also considers the future of Australian law in this area.

Author profiles

Julian Pinson FTI
Julian is a Partner at Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills Pty Limited. Julian advises on a wide range of tax matters, with a focus on banking and financial services, property, M&A and funds management. Julian has particular expertise in cross-border finance, TOFA, corporate restructures, debt and equity raisings and M&A. - Current at 22 November 2021
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Mary Hu
Mary is an Associate, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills.
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Jerome Wood
Jerome is a Tax Manager with CBA.


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