Hockey must sign up for more tax transparency

As the G20 meetings in November edge closer, it's time to get serious about Australia's response to issues like multinational tax avoidance. But so far all we've seen from Treasurer Joe Hockey is empty rhetoric. In this release I argue that it's time for the Treasurer to do more than talk:

MEDIA RELEASE

HOCKEY MUST SIGN UP FOR MORE TAX TRANSPARENCY

Treasurer Joe Hockey is procrastinating and prevaricating on a key measure to stop multinational companies shifting profits offshore.

The Common Reporting Standard provides for the automatic exchange of financial account information between banks in different countries. It is designed to make it easier to track how money moves around the world so that governments can ensure companies pay their fair share of tax.

In August, over 40 countries joined an Early Adopters Group and committed to fast-tracking implementation of the standard from January 2016. Despite Treasurer Joe Hockey endorsing the standard after the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in February, our name was conspicuously absent from that list.

The government has already concluded consultation with business and the financial sector on implementing the reforms, and has been sitting on their submissions for almost two months. 

In that time, Joe Hockey has huffed and puffed in the Parliament about tackling multinational tax avoidance but continued to stall on a key initiative that would actually achieve this.    

As the current chair of the G20, it is an embarrassment that Australia has not yet signed up to this important tax measure which we helped negotiate.

It is well past time for Joe Hockey to stop dragging his feet and commit to a specific timeframe for implementing the Common Reporting Standard. 

Countries beating Australia to the punch on financial transparency:

Argentina

India

Anguilla

Ireland

Belgium

Isle of Man

Bermuda

Italy

British Virgin Islands

Jersey

Bulgaria

Latvia

Cayman Islands

Malta

Colombia

Mexico

Croatia

Montserrat

Cyprus

the Netherlands

Czech Republic

Norway

Denmark

Poland

Estonia

Portugal

Faroe Islands

Romania

Finland

Seychelles

France

Slovakia

Germany

Slovenia

Gibraltar

South Africa

Greece

Spain

Guernsey

Sweden

Hungary

United Kingdom

Iceland

The Turks & Caicos Islands

FRIDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: JENNIFER RAYNER 0428 214 856


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8/1 Torrens Street, Braddon ACT 2612 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au