LABOR HAS NO LOVE FOR TAX AVOIDERS THIS VALENTINE’S DAY
One in five of Australia’s biggest companies have paid no tax for at least the past three years, but Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison’s priority still remains giving a $65 billion tax cut to big business.
Today’s report should be cause for heartbreak in the Turnbull Government, but Mr Morrison remains infatuated with tax-dodging multinationals.
We know that Australia is missing out on billions in tax revenue thanks to loopholes that the Turnbull Government refuses to act on, despite Labor’s tax transparency laws showing just how much the people of Australia are losing.
We know that the introduction of public reporting of country-by-country reports, as suggested by Labor, could help stem the flow of missing money.
Treasurer Morrison doesn’t want to close the loopholes. Despite soaring corporate profits, and the fact that Australia’s company tax rate places us in the middle of the G20 pack, the only policy he has eyes for is a big business tax cut.
The Turnbull Government talks a big game on multinational tax, but they’ve spent more on spruiking their laws than their legislation has directly raised.
Labor knows what needs to be done and will continue to lead the debate on multinational tax avoidance.
If the Turnbull Government was serious about tax fairness, it would adopt Labor’s plan to close loopholes and crack down on tax havens, by:
- Tightening debt-deduction loopholes used by multinational companies, improving the Budget by more than $4 billion over the medium term.
- Introducing public reporting of country-by-country reports. High-level tax information about where and how much tax was paid by large corporations (over $1 billion in global revenue) should be released.
- Providing protection for whistleblowers who report on entities evading tax to the Australian Taxation Office. Where whistleblowers’ information results in more tax being paid, allow them to collect a share of the tax penalty (a reward of up to $250,000).
- Introducing a publicly accessible registry of the beneficial ownership of Australian listed companies and trusts. This will allow everyone to find out who really owns our firms. Shareholders should not be able to use complex structures and sham ownership to avoid complying with corporate transparency rules.
- Introducing mandatory shareholder reporting of tax haven exposure. Companies must disclose to shareholders as a ‘Material Tax Risk’ if the company is doing business in a tax haven.
- Appointing a community sector representative to the Board of Taxation to ensure community sector voices are heard in tax design and review processes.
- Introducing public reporting of Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) data and require the annual public release of international cash flow data.
- Requiring government tenderers to disclose their country of tax domicile. All firms tendering for Australian Government contracts worth more than $200,000 should state their country of domicile for tax purposes.
- Developing guidelines for tax haven investment by superannuation funds. This should be done by the Australian Tax Office, in collaboration with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
- Requiring that the Australian Taxation Office’s annual report provide information on the number and size of tax settlements.
- Delivering more tax transparency by restoring Labor’s $100 million threshold for public reporting of tax data for private companies. This threshold was raised to $200 million by the Liberals and Greens, exempting two-thirds of private firms from tax transparency.
It’s not good enough that only big multinationals don't pay their fair share. Everyday Australians deserve some love from our tax system as well.
WEDNESDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2018