Australia targets alleged tax avoidance by multinationals
03 April 2013
Posted by: SAIT Technical
By Irish Times (Reuters)
such as Google and Apple will be required to disclose their tax
arrangements in Australia in an effort to curb tax avoidance.
Multinationals have been accused of shifting income to countries such as
Holland and Ireland where tax rates are lower.
Australia will force corporate giants such as Google and Apple to disclose their tax arrangements in an effort to curb alleged tax avoidance by multinational corporations.
The increasingly borderless global economy
means big firms often have no tax liability in a country, even with a
major local presence, assistant treasurer David Bradbury said.
In Australia, multinationals including the
local arm of Google have been accused of shifting income to countries
such as Holland or Ireland where tax rates are lower. Neither Google nor
Apple could immediately comment when contacted.
"This should not be a guessing game," Mr
Bradbury said after releasing measures that would require about 2,000
large and multinational businesses, including miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto with yearly revenue of A$100 million ($104.60 million) or more, to have their tax details published by the government.
"The government intends to improve transparency
around how much tax large enterprises are paying. We want to make sure
that large multinational companies are paying their fair share," he
Australia's minority Labor government last year
released draft revisions to tax laws to stop profit shifting in line
with a push by Britain and Germany, and discussions last year within the
Group of 20 wealthy nations.
Asked in a radio interview today about alleged profit shifting by Google, prime minister Julia Gillard
said she did not want to single out any company but said profit
shifting was an international issue requiring action by G20 nations.
"As a matter of principle, taxpayers, whether
they're companies or individuals, should pay their proper rate of tax,"
Ms Gillard said. "This is an ongoing discussion at an international
The revisions, opposed by opposition
conservatives, will be voted on by parliament after the May 14th budget,
with the government requiring support from a handful of independent
lawmakers and Greens holding the balance of power.
The amendments aim to shut down loopholes that
risk the loss of more than A$1 billion in government revenues each year
by allowing IT firms to avoid or reduce tax through online sales.
Australia's corporate tax rate is 30 per cent,
compared with Ireland's rate of 12.5 per cent. Some major companies
including Rio Tinto have already begun publishing tax details, expanding
on information in existing financial statements.