Category: Australia

Australians ‘wising up’ to use of tax havens, says Andrew Leigh

Shadow assistant treasurer suggests companies consider the image their tax minimisation methods project Andrew Leigh, the shadow assistant federal treasurer, has said companies using offshore tax havens to “get around corporate tax” in Australia risk losing what they save in tax via damage to their reputation. Speaking to Guardian Australia...

Web of Australian Adani solar companies leads to offshore tax havens

Three companies are ultimately owned in the Cayman and British Virgin islands, raising questions about the tax implications of profits generated by solar assets Adani has spread its use of offshore tax havens to its Australian solar projects, providing another avenue that could allow the wealthy Indian family behind the...

ATO’s tax gap figures revealed: $2.5 billion missing from corporates, multinationals

An estimated $3.5 billion in revenue from large corporates and multinationals is at risk to the economy, but through audit activity this will reduce to $2.5 billion, according to the Australian Taxation Office. On Wednesday the agency is releasing the first tranche of its long-awaited highly anticipated “tax gap” figures,...

Australia: Proposed changes to CGT main residence exemption for foreign residents

The Treasurer has recently released exposure draft legislation (Treasury Laws Amendment (Housing Tax Integrity) Bill 2017) in relation to removal of the CGT main residence exemption for foreign residents. The changes are part of the Commonwealth Government’s ‘housing affordability’ reforms announced in the 2017-18 Budget. This will affect both Australian...

Multinational giants accused of shifting Australian revenue offshore

Four of the world’s largest companies have been under investigation by Australian tax authorities, amid new evidence from US executives about how Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft are shifting money to offshore tax havens. Appearing before a highly anticipated public hearing into corporate tax evasion, the executives endured questions about...

US agrees to give Australia additional intelligence to chase tax avoiders

America has formally agreed to share detailed information of companies with the Australian government’s Tax Avoidance Taskforce. This means authorities get access to additional intelligence to track down US-based multinationals. This month, US authorities signed a country-by-country report exchange deal with Australia. It seeks to give authorities a broader picture...

HONG KONG, SINGAPORE AND CHINA GET TOUGH ON TAX HAVENS

In an effort to create a ‘level playing field’, Asian economies are committing to new standards of transparency At the risk of losing some foreign investors, Asian jurisdictions are stepping up efforts to combat corporate tax avoidance to meet new global transparency standards. More than a dozen Asia-Pacific jurisdictions have...

Australia Announces Housing Tax Breaks

The Australian Government has unveiled a package of housing tax breaks, including a new scheme for first-time buyers, a superannuation incentive for downsizers, and tighter rules for foreign residents. In a joint release, Treasurer Scott Morrison and his Assistant Minister, Michael Sukkar, said: “Housing affordability is a major issue affecting...

ATO’s finance ruling puts companies the ‘red zone’

The Australian Tax Office is preparing to take several companies to court over abuse of thin capitalisation rules and will start a wave of audits of large multinationals with complex cross-border loans, as it continues to take a hardline approach in the wake of its win against Chevron. The ATO...

Memo to: real estate vendors – if the sale price is $750,000 or more you need a Tax Clearance Certificate for settlement

In Federal Budget 2017, the Government is clamping down on tax avoidance by foreign investors in real estate, by tightening the foreign resident capital gains tax withholding regime. The new laws apply to both Australian resident and foreign resident vendors: Australian resident vendors of real property of $750,000 or more...

South Australia’s competitive tax regime is set to attract astute commercial property investors

SOUTH Australia is set to become the most competitive tax jurisdiction for commercial investment in Australia according to Collier’s International’s latest Radar research. The boast is prompted by the introduction, on July 1, of the state government’s second stamp duty reform which will come into effect as part of comprehensive...

BHP Billiton defends its Singapore marketing hub, says tax dispute is not about ‘tax avoidance’

BHP has defended its Singapore marketing hub, where it is accused of routing profits, and says it is confident of its position in a $1 billion dispute with the Australian Taxation Office over the amount of taxes payable on the sale of Australian commodities to its Singapore marketing business. BHP’s...

Westpac: We Will Have To Pass On Aus Bank Levy

Westpac has said that Australia’s new bank levy will cost it around AUD370m (USD275.7m) a year, and warned that “no company can simply ‘absorb’ a new tax.” In a letter to shareholders, Westpac chair Lindsay Maxsted described the tax as “bad public policy.” He said that the Government intends to...

Regulatory Issues: Financial account information exchange for increased tax compliance

Malaysian individuals and entities that have bank accounts overseas will soon see their financial information being shared with other countries and tax authorities in an effort to boost global transparency and tax compliance. This requirement is part of the automatic exchange of financial account information set out by the Organisation...

Australian Budget Targets Housing, Tax Compliance

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison’s 2017 Budget focused on measures to cool the housing market and crack down on tax avoidance. Morrison handed down the Budget on May 9. He said the the budget would return to a surplus in 2020-21 and remain in surplus over the medium term. The Budget...

Budget 2017: “Black economy”, multinationals in spotlight as government focuses on tax integrity

The federal government has pledged to create more fairness for businesses and “level the playing field” through a series of budget measures directed at tackling Australia’s so-called “black economy”. The government gave its “black economy taskforce” the job of investigating how individuals and businesses use cash payments in December 2016,...

Invoicing scam

THE Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority has uncovered a scam where companies hire graphic artists to manipulate the value of overseas invoices. Speaking on the global move towards greater financial disclosure, FRCA director corporate services Fazrul Rahman said a Fiji company was under the microscope for incorrect invoicing. “This Fiji...

Chevron: a game-changer for multinational tax avoiders

The Australian Tax Office had a superb win against Chevron in the Federal Court last week, but there is something everyone is missing, something that will turn the art of tax avoidance on its head; a game-changer for multinationals. Put simply, Chevron borrowed US$2.5 billion in the US at less...

Australia Urged To Scrap GST On Digital Imports

An Australian taxpayer advocacy group has joined forces with a coalition of international taxpayer organizations and academics to condemn the Government’s plans to abolish the low-value goods and services tax threshold on imports. In separate submissions to the Senate inquiry into the proposes GST changes, the Australian Taxpayers Alliance and...

Corporate giants hit with $2.2b Australia tax bill

Companies including Apple, Google and BHP Billiton were grilled at parliamentary hearings on their tax structures in 2015 SYDNEY: Australia on Thursday said it had slapped seven large multinationals with a multi-billion-dollar tax bill as it pursued global firms shifting profits offshore to minimise liabilities. The companies hit with the...

G20 Citizens Favor BEPS Crackdown Over Tax Competition

Citizens in G20 countries would prefer their government engage in international efforts to improve the functioning of international tax rules than compete for tax receipts, says a new survey. G20 public trust in tax, a report compiled by the ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), IFAC (the International Federation...

Facebook, Google paying more local tax in Australia after tax avoidance crackdown: officials

Multinational companies are now paying tax based on their Australian profits instead of shifting income to low-tax countries, officials say. CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA—Facebook, Google and other multinational companies are now paying tax in Australia based on their Australian profits instead of shifting income to low-tax countries since the government cracked down...

Treasurer to launch fresh attack on multinational tax avoidance as Parliament resumes

Treasurer Scott Morrison will launch a fresh attack on tax avoidance this week in Parliament in a bid to get the so-called “Google Tax” pushed through and shift public attention towards the Coalition’s record on multinational tax crackdowns. The Diverted Profits Tax is due to be debated this week, almost...

Westpac crackdown on foreign buyers and money laundering

Property buyers will be quizzed about their tax residency under new anti-money-laundering rules being introduced by Westpac and its subsidiaries St George Bank, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA. Mortgage brokers, who act as intermediaries between the banks and buyers, are being told that from this week they must also ask...