Thursday, 3 December 2015
Tax Laws Amendment (Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance) Bill 2015; In Committee
The government does not support the amendment proposed by the Labor opposition. The government is committed to tax transparency, but the government will not go so far as to reveal taxpayer information for private companies under such low thresholds as Labor is proposing. The government is already taking action. We are implementing the G20 OECD base erosion and profit-shifting recommendations on country-by-country reporting and harmful tax practices to address multinational tax avoidance and the common reporting standard for the automatic exchange of financial account information to address taxpayer offshore tax evasion.
The government has also asked the Board of Taxation to work with business to develop a voluntary code for greater disclosure by companies of their tax information. The board is expected to finalise the code in early 2016. The government has also maintained the Australian Taxation Office's corporation tax transparency publication. The exclusion of certain private companies below a reasonable threshold has no impact on the comprehensive powers of the Commissioner of Taxation to require companies to produce any information that is relevant to making an assessment of their tax liability. It also has no impact on the amount of tax paid by these companies under the law. The proposed public disclosure of taxpayer information will continue to apply to multinational enterprises operating in Australia and to Australian public companies.