Turnbull's Deafening Silence on Tax Avoidance - Media Release

TURNBULL’S DEAFENING SILENCE ON TAX AVOIDANCE  

Last night’s ABC report The Panama Papers has yet again left Australians wondering if and when the Government will get serious about tackling tax avoidance.

Yesterday morning, it was reported the ATO is investigating more than 800 high net worth Australian individuals.

Last night, more details about the legal twists, turns and loopholes multinational companies and individuals use to avoid tax have emerged.

Several large companies operating in Australia are alleged to use the services of the firm at the centre of the leak that broke the story.

Not one Coalition MP appeared on the program. Not even to rhetorically condemn tax avoidance. 

The leak of law firm Mossack Fonseca’s documents reveals some of the extraordinary lengths large companies will go to in order to avoid paying tax.

Shell companies to hide identities, the use of tax havens, and money laundering are just part of the grab bag.

When Tony Abbott said “fundamentally the Turnbull government is seeking election on the record of the Abbott government” he was, in part, referring to a willingness to go soft on tax avoidance by individuals and companies, including gutting the ATO by slashing 4,700 jobs and undermining their investigative and enforcement capabilities.

Labor has proposed measures to tackle tax avoidance that are ready to go.

If the Government were serious about tax avoidance, it should:

  • Adopt Labor’s multinational tax avoidance measures that would close loopholes and deliver $7.2 billion with large companies paying their fair share to keep hospitals and schools running for all Australians.
  • Adopt Labor’s Private Members Bill I introduced to Parliament in February that raises penalties for companies that fail to comply with Australia’s country-by-country reporting laws by fifty times.
  • Lower the public tax reporting threshold for large private companies from $200 million to $100 million.

While the Coalition – which voted against every multinational tax avoidance reform Labor introduced in government - refuses to take this issue seriously, there’s never been a more exciting time to be a tax dodger.

TUESDAY, 5 APRIL 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: NICK GREEN 0402 575 042


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