Government delays tightening offshore banking industry

MOVES to tighten regulation of the offshore banking industry, a key method of the rich to lower their taxes, have been postponed with no due date set by the Coalition Government.

The changes were first outlined by the previous Labor government in May this year, and were meant to come into effect from Tuesday.

Key reforms included removing a 10% tax rate for offshore banking from "related parties" to such investments and tightening the net on offshore banking practices.

But Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos, on Monday, said the new government would not go ahead with the October 1 start date.

He said the reforms needed to be delayed to give business more certainty that they could comply with the offshore banking-related tax laws.

But he did not set any date for the reforms to take effect, putting the future of the changes in doubt.

"We will ensure that an announcement on the content of the measure is made in a timely way, including a potential commencement date, so that business can make any necessary adjustments," he said.

"The Government will take the time necessary to properly consider all the issues, including the views of business."