Australian companies may issue bonds as a means of raising debt finance. Over the last decade Australian Governments have made amendments to the regulatory regime for corporate debt to facilitate a deeper and more active retail corporate bond market. However the Australian retail bond market remains small in comparison to similar countries and, in terms of amount of debt raised, Australian-based businesses make greater use of offshore bond markets.
The Inquiry will examine:
- the tax treatment of corporate bonds for both issuers and investors to determine whether there are any impediments in the tax system to the issue of corporate bonds compared to other forms of debt financing for business;
- related impediments within the Corporations Act to the further development of the corporate bond market, including how they interact with the tax system; and
- comparable policy settings in other jurisdictions, with a focus on those jurisdictions that are major sources of debt finance for companies operating in Australia.