Monday, 3 June 2013
I want to ask the Assistant Treasurer about something that has been the subject of a bit of commentary lately in technology sector. That is, namely, the expectation almost of some people that multinational corporations with deep pockets can and do minimise their tax liability—but at what cost to domestic taxpayers? I mention two companies, Apple and Google, simply because they are two of the largest technology names around that have been discussed, but it is not exclusively about them. I note there is an issues paper, for which submissions just recently closed, called Implications of the modern global economy for the taxation of multinational enterprises. I will just go to a few things in that paper before I go to my questions. It says:
International tax reform is increasingly on the agenda of G20 Finance Ministers and Leaders.
I note that Australia will be chairing the G20 next year, so it is probably an item that Australia will be taking an interest in on that basis. It also says that there are a 'range of possible policy approaches' in response to the issue—in particular, and I have been seeing this figure a fair bit, the 'double Irish-Dutch sandwich' as one of the mechanisms for minimising tax. The question put in the paper—