7/12/2017: Tax data released by the ATO today reveals that 36% of large firms in Australia paid no tax in 2015-16. ActionAid Australia has called for the Government to crack down on tax dodging by increasing transparency in the Australian tax system.
Lucy Manne, Head of Campaigns at ActionAid Australia said:
“For the third year running, the ATO has told us that 36% of large firms in Australia paid no tax in 2015-16. In the face of such an extreme gap between the rich and the poor in this country, it is absolutely unacceptable that so many of the biggest companies in Australia are not paying their fair share of tax, and even basic transparency measures have still not been introduced.
“This injustice is exactly why we need large multinational companies’ tax affairs to be made transparent on a country-by-country basis, and why we need greater transparency of beneficial ownership of companies and trusts.
“Right now the Government is dragging its heels on the introduction of a public register of beneficial ownership, having missed its August 2017 deadline to take action under the Open Government Partnership. It has also failed to commit to public country-by-country reporting. This is despite both these policies being taken up around the world in the global effort to address tax dodging. The time for the Government to crack down on this greedy tax-dodging elite is well and truly overdue.”
Ms Manne also said that tax dodging by big multinational companies hits women the hardest:
“This tax dodging is being felt particularly by women, not just in Australia, but around the world, who are disproportionately affected by cuts to public services such as health and education due to insufficient tax revenues. Without proper action to address tax dodging, gender equality will remain permanently out of reach.
“This data shows that in Australia alone, the scale of tax dodging is significant. If this is at all reflective of what tax is or is not being paid by Australian companies overseas, the implications for women in low-income countries are dire.”