15 February 2017

Turnbull Government crackdown on multinational tax avoidance to help fund services for Corangamite families

I am proud to be part of a government that is making sure multinational tax dodgers pay their fair share of tax, helping to ensure that crucial government services Corangamite residents rely on can be delivered now and into the future.

The Turnbull Government’s crackdown on multinational tax avoidance is expected to claw back around $2 billion in tax this financial year.

The $2 billion in tax liabilities from multinationals is expected to come from assessments relating to seven audits of large multinational companies in the energy, resources and e-commerce sectors, by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

This is further proof that the Turnbull Government’s strong action is effectively dealing with non-compliance behaviour of multinationals in Australia. Australia needs a sustainable tax system with integrity to ensure we can afford the services and infrastructure Corangamite rely on now and into the future.

While it was disappointing and hypocritical that Bill Shorten and the Labor Party voted against the Multinational Anti-Avoidance legislation in the Parliament, this news is further proof the Turnbull Government has simply gotten on with the job of strongly combatting those multinational companies who seek to game the system.

It is these tough measures that we continue to build on, with the introduction to Parliament last week of legislation implementing the new Diverted Profits Tax, which will close loopholes and prevent multinationals shifting the profits that they earn in Australia offshore to avoid paying tax.

I know this will be welcome news to everyone across Corangamite.   Across all corners of the electorate, there is broad agreement that multinationals should pay their fair share of tax.

The Diverted Profits Tax will commence on 1 July 2017, and is expected to raise $100 million in revenue a year from 2018-19.

The Turnbull Government continues to deliver on our commitment to keep our tax system strong.  While we believe in lower rates of taxation, paying tax is not optional for multinationals.

Background

The measures introduced in the Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance Bill 2017, including the Diverted Profits Tax, provide a powerful new tool to the Australian Taxation Office to tackle multinational tax avoidance and will reinforce Australia’s position as having some of the toughest tax avoidance laws in the world.

The Commissioner of Taxation will be provided with extra powers to achieve this.

By making it easier to apply Australia’s anti- avoidance provisions and applying a 40 per cent rate of tax, which will need to be paid immediately, the DPT will:

  • complement the application of the existing anti-avoidance rules;
  • encourage greater compliance by large multinational enterprises with their tax obligations in Australia, including with Australia’s transfer pricing rules; and
  • encourage greater openness with the Commissioner, and allow for quicker resolution of disputes.

In addition to the DPT, the Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance Bill 2017 introduced into Parliament yesterday includes more changes to ensure that multinationals pay the right amount of Australian tax and comply with their tax disclosure obligations.

This change will now see the maximum penalty 100-times for large multinationals where they fail to lodge tax documents on time. The penalty for large multinationals that fail to comply with their tax reporting obligations will increase to over half a million dollars.

The Government is also doubling the penalties for large multinationals when they make false or misleading statements to the ATO.

15 February 2017