One in three private companies pay no private tax - Media Release


The Australian Tax Office has today revealed that one in three Australian-owned companies earning more than $200 million a year pay no tax.

As Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull mulls a cut to company tax in the upcoming budget, the data published today reveals 98 out of 321 of Australia’s biggest private firms aren’t paying a single dollar.

This news comes on top of last December’s revelation that one in four big public firms and multinationals also pay no tax.

It says everything about Malcolm Turnbull’s priorities that he would put company tax cuts at the centre of his budget, even as so many big firms appear to be dodging their fair share.

Today’s data is only available because of transparency rules Labor introduced in 2013. Back then, the Liberals – including Malcolm Turnbull – voted against them.

Last December, in one of their many dodgy deals, Malcolm Turnbull and Greens leader Richard Di Natale agreed to hike the threshold for private firms from $100 million to $200 million. That change carved out two-thirds of private firms from the transparency rules.  

If Labor’s laws had not been gutted, hundreds more large companies would have had their tax data released for public scrutiny today. Instead, Malcolm Turnbull changed the law to let them keep this a secret.   

Contrasts don’t come much starker than this.

Labor stands for a tax system where everyone pays their fair share. Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberals stand for tax secrecy and free kicks for big business.



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  • commented 2016-03-22 23:27:30 +1100
    This report released by the ATO makes me quite angry.
    Unfortunately the tax system seems to have become optional.
    Taxes are supposed to be a contirbution towards infrastructure provided, public services, health, education, etc etc.
    We contribute based on our ability to pay (hence the progressive nature of our tax system), This ability is based on profits made. but what if the corporate taxpayer manipulates that ability?
    Maybe the ability to manipulate corporate profit has become too easy?
    What if a large multinational never wants to make a profit in Australia?
    How will they ever contribute towards public infrastructure in these situations? Is it acceptable that they never contribute if they make losses? Or just leave it to the pensioners and the deceased estates of students with HECS debts?
    Perhaps a tax or levy of a different type is required for large corporate perpetual loss makers: A social contirbution levy based on assets accumulated or on revenue generated.
    Some questions to consider would be: what if the costs they spend in making a loss are not there to generate income but are there to distribute profits?
    Should those costs be allowed as tax deductions where forward estimate budgets are for continuous losses and no profits?
    The rules for tax deductions may need change (significant tightening) where loss making becomes the norm, where loss making becomes the budget plan (eg for the next x years).
    The rules for corporate tax contributions may need change where there is a forward budget for perpetual loss making.
    As a disgruntled ‘minion’, sometimes i think that in seeking to fairly tax these large corporates – just throw out the ‘taxable income’ test for perpetual corporate loss makers and charge a totally different levy or tax based on market size, revenue generated and assets accumulated in Australia? Taxable income means nothing to them.
    The reports shows corporates with turnover of $452 Billion not paying any tax.
    If you just applied the 2% Medicare Levy to the perpetial loss makers turnover, that would raise $9Billion+ per annum.
    Given my mood at the moment, i would suggest to also apply the 2% Debt Levy to the perpetual loss makers revenue and there’s another $9Billion+ per annum.
    Im prepared to be reasonable, but $0 tax on $452Billion turnover is just disgraceful.
    I hope the LNP Dont dare touch pensioners, the sick and students before this is addressed.

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