6 April 2017
Media Release - #2017030, 2017

Multinational tax crackdown reaping results

Joint media release with
the Hon Kelly O'Dwyer MP
Minister for revenue and financial services

The Turnbull Government’s tough new tax laws provide the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with the powers and penalties it needs to ensure the Australian people receive the tax owed to them.

Treasurer the Hon. Scott Morrison and the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon. Kelly O’Dwyer, said the ATO has made significant progress and has today confirmed that it has raised $2.9 billion in tax liabilities against a group of seven multinational companies.

The ATO is auditing 59 multinational corporations and hundreds of other companies to ensure compliance with our taxation laws including the Government’s new Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL).

Mr Morrison said: “Our multinational tax laws are having an impact and we now have one of the toughest, if not the toughest, anti-avoidance tax regimes in the world. Multinational companies are being put on notice.”

“The Australian people expect all corporations to pay the right amount of tax and this includes multinational companies,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

“Everyday Australians pay their tax, they can’t avoid it, so it is absolutely right that any large corporation that is not paying the right amount of tax should be vigorously pursued by the ATO through the court system.”

A special 1,000 strong taskforce within the ATO has been investigating the tax arrangements of a large number of companies, including multinational corporations operating in Australia.

The Turnbull Government has given the ATO powerful legislative tools and funding for a new Tax Avoidance Taskforce to ensure foreign corporations pay the right amount of tax in Australia.

The ATO crackdown includes 71 audits in the large business area covering 59 multinational corporations underway, as well as hundreds of other companies being reviewed for compliance.

According to the ATO, at least seven major multinational audits are expected to come to a head before 30 June, four in e-commerce and three in the energy and resource industries. As a result, the ATO has confirmed that it has so far this year issued $2.9 billion in tax liabilities due from multinational enterprises.

It is expected that some of these will be settled by the companies involved, while others are likely to be litigated.

The ATO has recently met with 175 affected taxpayers or their advisors about their structures and to ensure they are compliant with the requirements of the MAAL.

The ATO is aware of 25 taxpayers who have restructured or intend to restructure their arrangements in response to the MAAL and make payments to the ATO.

Combating tax avoidance, especially by multinational corporations, will assist in ensuring the Government can sustainably fund the services Australians rely on.

Labor opposed and voted against the Government’s MAAL. They are all talk when it comes to multinational tax. The Government is getting on with the job of ensuring multinationals pay the right amount of tax.