In the news
The prime minister of Papua New Guinea has declared Manus Island will become a corporate tax-free zone, prompting fears it could become a Pacific tax haven.read more
Second ANMF-funded report, submitted to Royal Commission, criticises family-owned aged care organisations for ‘aggressive tax avoidance’
The report urges the Federal Government to mandate that aged care businesses receiving more than $10 million a year in taxpayer funding should file publicly accessible company accounts – and has called for a public registry of beneficial ownership and minimum 30 per cent tax on distributions from discretionary trusts.read more
“The lack of information available on financial operations of these companies is pretty stunning and alarming, and clearly there needs to be far more public accountability on public funding and transparency in terms of financial practices and spending,” Jason Ward told Australian Ageing Agenda.read more
Some of the biggest family-owned aged care companies in Australia have been accused of using complex corporate structures to minimise their tax bill. A new report from the Tax Justice Network Australia and the Centre for International Corporate Tax Accountability & Research has been submitted to the aged care royal commission. It highlights concerns about “aggressive tax minimisation strategies”. The report examines TriCare, Arcare, Aegis, McKenzie, Hall & Prior, and Thompson.read more
In a submission to the commission, two union-backed organisations, the Tax Justice Network and the Centre for International Corporate Tax Accountability and Research, raised concerns about the use of a Norfolk Island company by one aged-care group, TriCare, and the heavy use of trusts by another, Arcare.read more
Labor wants to deny multinationals a deduction when they send royalty payments to related companies that pose a multinational tax risk. Labor estimates this would improve the budget bottom line by $680m over the forward estimates and $2.3b over the “medium term.” Companies that might be affected include Uber, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, McDonalds, Ikea and Aldi, among others.read more
Unusually, Macquarie’s European tax trauma relates not to its own affairs but its role in lending money to investors who participated in a dividend scheme in 2011.
The transactions being attacked by prosecutors enabled two sets of investors to claim a tax deduction for one dividend payment and are estimated to have denied European governments up to €55bn ($88bn) in revenue.read more
The profits based petroleum resources rent tax is only paid by a handful of oil and gas projects as resource giants claim more than $300 million in tax credits.The federal government recently tightened up the law but critics say Australia is giving it’s resources away cheaply.read more
Labor’s shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh will announce $5 million in annual funding for the OECD and United Nations-led Tax Inspectors Without Boarders program which facilitates targeted tax audit assistance programs in developing countries. Primarily funded by European countries, the Paris-based program is expanding into the Asia-Pacific region, with Papua New Guinea and Vietnam acting as host administrations for specialist audit assistance services. “To date, the results are stunning. The most recent annual report found that in many cases, the ratio of revenue raised for host administrations relative to donor
costs was 100 to 1,” Dr. Leigh said.
“Tax transparency will not stop tax avoidance, but public knowledge of how much money is stashed in tax havens — and by which companies — may create enough public pressure and awareness to change domestic and global tax rules that permit large scale tax avoidance,” Mr Ward said.read more