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Tax office endorses recent Multinational Tax moves

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 11 Feb 2016

The Australian Tax Office has endorsed legislation passed by the Greens on the last day of Parliament last year, saying they’re already seeing positive changes in behaviour of multinationals and large corporates.

“The testimony by the ATO that new laws combatting multinational tax avoidance are already delivering positive results is justification for the stance taken by the Greens late last year passing legislation on this important issue”.

“Labor preferred to play politics than support good policy on preventing tax avoidance, and it is time they grew up ” said Greens Finance spokesperson Peter Whish-Wilson.

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Deputy Commissioner of the ATO, Mark Konza, told Senate Estimates: “That bill was a piece of machinery, if you like, in that it firstly changed the rules so that those who are operating an ‘operate here and bill overseas’ business model were going to be brought to account from 1 January 2016. It also heightened the pressure on companies by doubling the penalties that might be applicable if they were caught out afterwards… these penalties are a stain on a company’s reputation."

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Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan told the hearing: “We have created a network of 30 or so countries who have signed up and are committed to sharing information in a real time sense. This is an enormous advance in terms of international sharing of information.”

Second Commissioner Andrew Mills told the committee there’s an, “annoyance factor,” among other countries signing on to the OECD/G20 deal because Australia got moving on it a year earlier, as a result of the Senate passing the legislation before the end of 2015.

Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson: So we’ve shown some leadership.
Second Commissioner, Andrew Mills: Yes.
Senator Whish-Wilson: Put that on your billboard, Sam.

"There is still a lot more that needs to be done in this space and the Greens will be working very hard to ensure those big companies that aren't paying their fair share of tax begin to do so,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.

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