Tax Avoidance: More Prime Ministerial Puffery Popping - Media Release


“What we are doing is we are taking a, we are part of a leadership group at the OECD, I don’t want to say we’re leading, but we’re batting above our weight”.

Mr Mark Konza, Deputy Commissioner, International, ATO
Economics References Committee – 21 April 2016 – timecode 12:57:25 here

“ Well, the, perhaps the Treasurer would be better able to respond to that but can I say to you that the enforcement of our taxation laws by our ATO, by Mr Jordan the Commissioner and by the Government is very strong. You may have seen the report in the media describing how the Australian Taxation Office is leading the charge globally in going through the Panama Papers”.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Press Conference, 21 April 2016

More Prime Ministerial puffery popped today, with Australian Tax Office officials rejecting Malcolm Turnbull’s hyperbole that Australia is ‘leading the charge’ on tax avoidance.

Among the jurisdictions named by Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan as being of concern were Panama, the British Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Bahrain and the Cayman Islands.

40 prominent Australians have today signed an open-letter calling on the Government to stamp out secrecy

A Government that has slashed 4,700 ATO jobs and watered down tax transparency laws cannot be trusted in clamping down on tax avoidance.

Labor already has a plan to close significant tax loopholes. We’ve had one for more than a year. We’ve done the hard work, we’re leading the push to tighten Australia’s tax net and we’re waiting for others to follow.

Labor’s plan will return $7.2 billion in tax to Australia over the next decade by closing debt deduction loopholes, improving data matching and giving the Australian Tax Office the resources it needs to crack down on corporate profit shifting.


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