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4 Apr, 2013

Multinationals in Crosshairs as Australia Moves to “Improve Transparency” of Business Tax System


Canberra, 3 April 2013 (Media release by the Assistant Treasurer, Minister Assisting for Deregulation) – Large corporate entities would be required to disclose tax payable as part of proposals floated in a discussion paper released today, said Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury. The discussion paper follows the Government’s earlier announcement that it intends to change the tax laws to improve the transparency of Australia’s business tax system.

“Increasing the transparency of tax payable will enable the public to better understand the corporate tax system and engage in policy debates, as well as discourage aggressive tax minimisation practices by large corporate entities,” said Mr Bradbury.

The discussion paper sets out the details of three specific proposals:

  • transparency of tax payable by large and multinational businesses with total income of $100 million or more per year, or entities with MRRT or PRRT liabilities;
  • publishing aggregate collections for each Commonwealth tax; and
  • enhanced information sharing between Government agencies.
  • The information, which is already provided to the Australian Taxation Office, would be made publicly available by the Commissioner of Taxation.

“The Government has developed these proposals following consultation with the Specialist Reference Group on Ways to Address Tax Minimisation of Multinational Enterprises and discussions with key corporate regulators,” said Mr Bradbury. “I’d also encourage the broader community to have their say on the proposals put forward in this discussion paper and I look forward to considering that feedback before bringing legislation to the Parliament.”

The push to improve transparency of tax payable by large multinational companies is part of the Government’s broader efforts to maintain the integrity of Australia’s tax base and crack down on profit shifting.

“The Government is continuing to progress its reforms to our tax laws to prevent profit shifting, close loopholes and protect the integrity of our tax base,” said Mr Bradbury. “If we do not move to close these loopholes, Australian families and small businesses will be forced to shoulder more of the tax burden in the future.”

Consultation on the discussion paper will close on 24 April 2013. Stakeholders should consider both policy and legislative design issues when preparing their submissions.

A copy of the discussion paper may be downloaded free by clicking here.