ATO report highlights need for better tax transparency - Media Release


For the first time ever today, Australians have the opportunity to see how much tax some of Australia’s largest publically listed companies pay thanks to laws introduced by Labor in 2013.


The Australian Tax Office’s reportpublished this morning detailed the tax contribution of over 1500 major multinational and Australian public companies.


The Liberals voted against Labor’s laws back in 2013. If they had their way, none of today’s information would have been published.


Worse still, the Liberal deal with the Greens last month to reduce tax transparency means that large private companies will not be subject to the same scrutiny we’ve seen today

Today’s report shows these listed firms had a combined taxable income of $170 billion, and contributed $40 billion in tax towards funding Australia’s schools, hospitals and roads. Without this important contribution our economy could not grow and thrive.


Worryingly however, it also reveals that one in four of these companies paid no tax despite earning over $100 million in revenue.


In the energy and resources sector 57 per cent of multinational firms paid no tax, while in the banking and financial sector the figure was 45 per cent. 


The companies concerned will no doubt want to explain these figures further to their customers and the Australian community.   


Of course, missing from today’s report is information about the tax affairs of huge Australian private companies.


A handful of these firms will have their details published early next year. But over 600 companies that would have had to disclose under Labor’s laws are now cosily tucked up behind a shield of secrecy. 


That’s because the Liberal Party and the Greens Party teamed up to double the reporting threshold for private companies on the very last day of Parliament for this year.


Instead of standing with Labor to ensure transparency for firms earning over $100 million, Richard Di Natale chose to side with Scott Morrison and help a huge swathe of companies avoid public scrutiny.  


Given what we’ve seen today about the tax contribution of large public companies, Mr Di Natale’s members and supporters must be questioning his judgement.


Labor will continue to push for the tax transparency threshold to be returned to $100 million for all companies. Unlike the Liberal Party and the Greens Party, we believe Australia’s largest firms should be held to account for paying their fair share of tax.


We thank the companies that are doing the right thing, and welcome the steps others have taken to explain their tax affairs.


At a time when the Turnbull Government is cutting family payments, cracking down on welfare recipients and considering raising the GST to 15 per cent, it is right that we should look closely at whether all taxpayers are contributing their fair share.  





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