EVEN BIG BUSINESS WANTS MORE TAX TRANSPARENCY, WHY DOESN’T TURNBULL?
BHP Billiton’s decision to voluntarily publish an in-depth report on its tax affairs shows the Abbott-Turnbull Government is going the wrong way in its efforts to gut Australia’s tax transparency laws.
BHP has recognised that the community expects and demands greater tax transparency these days, and is taking positive steps to provide this.
Other major companies like Rio Tinto have also begun publishing information on the taxes they pay on a country-by-country and project-by-project basis in recent years. The Senate’s corporate tax inquiry has recommended more transparency to hold companies accountable for their tax dealings.
Instead of working to improve transparency, the Abbott-Turnbull Government is taking exactly the opposite approach.
They are trying to gut Australia's existing tax transparency laws by carving out almost half of the companies these apply to. They want to help huge companies worth more than $100 million keep their tax dealings secret.
The tax office gave evidence to the Senate this week that one in five of these companies paid no tax at all last year. That figure is galling to the small businesses and individual taxpayers who do the right thing and are left to pick up the tab when big businesses do not contribute.
Australia needs more transparency, not less, to ensure everyone pays their fair share of tax. Some of the world’s biggest firms recognise this; it’s time Malcolm Turnbull did too.
THURSDAY, 24 SEPTEMBER 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: JENNIFER RAYNER 0428 214 856