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Australia to introduce tax incentives to encourage startup investment

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 10:48

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Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday his government will this week introduce legislation to stimulate greater investment in startups - as Australia looks to transition its economy away from a slowing mining sector.

[SYDNEY] Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday his government will this week introduce legislation to stimulate greater investment in startups - as Australia looks to transition its economy away from a slowing mining sector.

Australia has proposed amended tax laws that would allow retail investors a 20 per cent income tax rebate, capped at US$200,000 per year on any startup investments, while a 10 per cent tax rebate for venture capital investors in established start-ups wishing to expand will also be permitted.

Mr Turnbull said the legislation will be introduced as early as Wednesday.

The new tax laws are a key element of Australia's plan to encourage greater risk-taking to ease the pain of a economic transition amid an end to the investment phase of a lucrative mining boom that sustained its economy for more than a decade.

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"We have been from an economy that was fired up by the mining construction boom... but inevitably it was going to tail off so what comes next? What comes next is innovation," Mr Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.

Australia consistently ranks last or second-last among the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries for business-research collaboration, data from OECD shows. Its appetite for risk is also lower than comparable countries, which means Australian startups and early-stage businesses often fail to attract capital to grow.

REUTERS

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