In the news
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
Of 138 returns lodged, only six profitable projects paid the PRRT, a profits-based tax generated from the sale of gas and oil. Critics claim Australia is giving away natural resources cheaply compared to countries such as Qatar. The Government has proposed new laws, expected to raise about $6 billion in additional revenue over 10 years.read more
Investors representing more than $US10 trillion ($14.1 trillion) in capital have thrown their weight behind a bid to force multinational companies to publicly reveal details of their tax affairs, including how much they pay to governments in the countries where they operate.read more
No less than five Pacific island countries have been blacklisted by the European Union as tax havens. Fiji and Vanuatu have returned to the EU list, Samoa and American Samoa have never left it, and now Marshall Islands has been added as well. But exactly how concerned should the five Pacific nations be, and what is the likely impact on their economies?read more