Can someone please provide some information on this? I would like to invest in Australian companies and want to know about the tax rates. Am a foreigner who is non-resident.
For non Australian residents:
Dividends withholding tax rate is 30%. Depending upon your country of residence where there is a tax treaty in place to avoid double taxation, then this can be reduced. Note that only dividends that are unfranked are subject to this (in Australia, if tax has already been paid by the company then they can distribute dividends as "franked" dividends").
For example, if you owned shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), their most recent dividend from Feb 2015 (Paid 2 April 2015) was $1.98 fully franked. No withholding tax is applicable.
There is no capital gains tax for non-residents on share transactions.
There are other "tax events" that related to large shareholdings in a company (>10%) with property holdings but I'm guessing that is not an issue.
https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Tax-return/2014/In-detail/Publications/You-and-your-shares-2013-14/?page=14 https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/International-tax-for-business/Previous-years/Capital-gains-and-foreign-residents/ https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/International-tax-for-business/Previous-years/Capital-gains-and-foreign-residents/?page=13#Foreign_residents_holding_interests_in_Australian_fixed_trusts https://www.kpmg.com/Global/en/services/Tax/regional-tax-centers/asia-pacific-tax-centre/Documents/CountryProfiles/Australia.pdf