AUSTRALIAN TAX TREATIES
The Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the MLI) has modified the application of this tax treaty. A synthesised text of the MLI and this tax treaty is available to facilitate the understanding of how the MLI modifies this tax treaty.
Dividends paid by a company which is a resident of a Contracting State for the purposes of its tax, being dividends beneficially owned by a resident of the other Contracting State may be taxed in that other State. 2.
However, those dividends may also be taxed in the Contracting State of which the company paying the dividends is a resident for the purposes of its tax, and according to the law of that State, but the tax so charged shall not exceed:
(a) [ATO Notation: MODIFIED by paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the MLI] 0 per cent where those dividends are paid out of profits that have borne the normal rate of company tax and those dividends are paid to a company which, in the case of Australia, holds directly at least 10 per cent of the voting power of the company paying the dividends, or in the case of France, holds directly at least 10 per cent of the capital of the company paying the dividends; and
(b) [ATO Notation: MODIFIED by paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the MLI] 5 per cent of the gross amount of other dividends, if the beneficial owner of those dividends is a company which, in the case of Australia, holds directly at least 10 per cent of the voting power of the company paying the dividends, or in the case of France, holds directly at least 10 per cent of the capital of the company paying the dividends; and
The following paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the MLI applies to subparagraphs a) and b) of paragraph 2 of Article 10 of this Convention:
ARTICLE 8 OF THE MLI - DIVIDEND TRANSFER TRANSACTIONS
[Subparagraphs a) and b) of paragraph 2 of Article 10 of the Convention] shall apply only if the ownership conditions described in those provisions are met throughout a 365 day period that includes the day of the payment of the dividends (for the purpose of computing that period, no account shall be taken of changes of ownership that would directly result from a corporate reorganisation, such as a merger or divisive reorganisation, of the company that holds the shares or that pays the dividends).
For information on the status and effect of the ATO Notation, see Status of the ATO Notations above.
(c) 15 per cent of the gross amount of the dividends in all other cases,
provided that if the relevant law in either Contracting State at the date of signature of this Convention is varied otherwise than in minor respects so as not to affect its general character, the Contracting States shall consult each other with a view to agreeing to any amendment of this paragraph that may be appropriate.3.
The term " dividends " as used in this Article means income from shares or other rights, not being debt-claims, participating in profits, as well as other amounts which are subjected to the same taxation treatment as a distribution or dividend by the law of the State of which the company making the distribution is a resident for the purposes of its tax. 4.
The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply if the beneficial owner of the dividends, being a resident of a Contracting State, carries on business in the other Contracting State of which the company paying the dividends is a resident, through a permanent establishment situated in that other State, and the holding in respect of which the dividends are paid is effectively connected with that permanent establishment. In such case, the provisions of Article 7 shall apply. 5.
Where a company which is a resident of a Contracting State derives profits or income from the other Contracting State, that other State may not impose any tax on the dividends paid by the company - being dividends beneficially owned by a person who is not a resident of the other Contracting State - except insofar as the holding in respect of which such dividends are paid is effectively connected with a permanent establishment situated in that other State, even if the dividends paid consist wholly or partly of profits or income arising in such other State. This paragraph shall not apply in relation to dividends paid by any company which is a resident of Australia for the purposes of Australian tax and which is also a resident of France for the purposes of French tax.
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