Category: Australia

Australia: OECD releases beneficial ownership implementation toolkit to facilitate transparency

In brief – Beneficial ownership toolkit aims to help governments implement legal and supervisory frameworks to identify and collect beneficial ownership information Beneficial ownership is a critical issue in many areas of law, in particular tax and anti-money laundering. National authorities often struggle to keep up with private ingenuity in… – Continue reading

Tax cheats no longer safe from Australian Taxation Office

The good old days of buying and acquiring cryptocurrency without having to worry about government intervention have come to an end. This is the case in Australia, where cryptocurrency investors will likely soon receive a letter from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) informing them that they owe back taxes on… – Continue reading

Water controversy prompts tax haven focus

Tax avoidance has crept into the tussle of the federal election campaign, as the government faces pressure to further investigate an expensive water purchase from a company based in a well-known tax haven. Labor has left the door open to supporting a Greens push for a royal commission into the… – Continue reading

Australia establishes agreement with Taiwan on tax and finance transparency

Taiwan implemented ‘Common Reporting Standards’ in 2019, now recognized by Japan and Australia TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On April 22, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced Australia had officially agreed to accept Taiwan as a Common Reporting Standards (CRS) partner nation in matters of financial and legal transparency related to… – Continue reading

Australian tax agency to crack down on lawyers protecting tax-evading clients

CANBERRA, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) — Australia’s tax collector has announced a crackdown on lawyers who misuse legal privilege to protect their clients. In a post on its website, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) said it was preparing to launch “range of (legal) cases in the short to medium term” against… – Continue reading

Australian corporate tax takes up 20 percent: data

CANBERRA, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) — The amount of tax paid by Australia’s biggest companies has risen 20 percent in a single year, data has revealed. According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) ‘s corporate tax data for financial year 2016-17, which was released on Thursday, the nation’s 1,470 biggest companies… – Continue reading

Australia targets offshore banking units

Under pressure from international organisations, the Australian government has flagged that it is getting ready to reform the concessionally-taxed offshore banking unit (OBU) regime, a move that will hit big banks and hedge funds. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) forum on harmful tax practices has raised concerns… – Continue reading

Tax Avoidance Taskforce helps net $5.6 billion in first two years

The more detailed scrutiny of the tax affairs of multinationals, large corporations and wealthy individuals, made possible by the formation of the Tax Avoidance Taskforce, has collected $5.6 billion in extra tax in just two years. Deputy Commissioner Mark Konza said “the $679.9 million the Government funded the ATO for… – Continue reading

Australia Mulls Fresh Regulations on Crypto Exchanges

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) said it would create a team to monitor initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies. Australia’s market regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is considering a new tactic in regulating digital currency exchanges and raising the monitoring of initial coin offerings (ICOs)… – Continue reading

Don’t make extra income a tax time headache

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is increasing its efforts to identify taxpayers who fail to report all their income this tax time, as it strives to recover an annual tax shortfall of nearly $1.4 billion caused by individuals who leave income out of their return. “Tax lost from under-reported income… – Continue reading

Pharmaceutical giants named and shamed in tax avoidance investigation

Four pharmaceutical giants have been named and shamed for depriving Australia of $215 million a year in tax avoidance. Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD Australia), and Abbott – which make household name brands like Band Aid, Baby Oil, Centrum and ChapStick –were found to have unfairly… – Continue reading

A Bird’s Eye View on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in European Law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU). The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) superseded the UK Data Protection Act 1998 on May 25, 2018. Significant and wide-reaching in scope, the new… – Continue reading

Australia’s fugitive Chinese accounts frozen

The top story in the finance section on Tuesday morning is about the Chinese government’s hunt for hidden assets (and unpaid taxes) overseas. The article mentions Australia and New Zealand freezing accounts from customers who don’t identify if they are foreign taxpayers. It goes on to say many of the… – Continue reading

Australian PM Planning New SME Tax Changes

Australia’s new Prime Minister has said his Government is working on plans to help improve the tax competitiveness of small businesses. Former Treasurer and now Prime Minister Scott Morrison had been at the forefront of the Government’s two-year battle to pass a package of company tax cuts. He had sought… – Continue reading

Crackdown on overseas tax avoidance

Draft laws stopping multinational companies leveraging their Australian assets with debt, to reduce their tax burden have been released for public comment. The “thin capitalisation” rules prevent multinationals from shifting profits offshore by using excessive levels of tax-deductible debt to fund their Australian operations. “This will further reinforce the government’s… – Continue reading

Which Countries is The Cryptocurrency Taxed In?

The cryptocurrency industry is still at a very early stage of its development, so there are no single international rules yet. The governments of individual countries independently try to regulate digital assets. The tax on the cryptocurrency varies in different countries. Within the framework of this article, we will try… – Continue reading

Australia to Fight Crypto Tax Avoidance with Bilateral Data Sharing

Australian Tax Authority will use bilateral data sharing agreements to collect taxes on cryptocurrency income. The Australian Tax Authority (ATO) will seek international cooperation to tackle hiding of cryptocurrency income, ATO acting deputy commissioner Martin Jacobs told local media on Friday. This year Australian traders must file tax declarations about… – Continue reading

Australia: Experts Say Tax Office on ‘Warpath’ Against Crypto Investors

Australian tax experts have confirmed that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is cracking down on cryptocurrency investors this year, local news outlet The New Daily reports Friday, June 15. The ATO had said in early March that they would be using a combination of data matching and “100-point identification checks”… – Continue reading

Tougher tax evasion penalties closer

Existing penalties aren’t enough to stop businesses using software to hide sales and reduce their tax, a federal government minister says. Kelly O’Dwyer says tougher penalties, including fines up to $1 million, will deter those who take part in the black economy. Legislation to create offences and introduce penalties for… – Continue reading

Australian Government planning on digitally taxing Google and Facebook

The Australian federal government has proposed a tax on digital advertising that could raise up to $200 million each year but could have serious consequences for corporate Australia. Scott Morrison, Australia treasurer, mentioned in his budget speech that the $7 billion in sales from Australians to United States owned media… – Continue reading

Australia Provides Update On International Tax Enforcement

In comments to the TPMinds International Conference in late March, Deputy Commissioner Mark Konza outlined the Australia Taxation Office’s priorities in the area of international tax enforcement, with an especial focus to be placed on the energy and resources sector and pharmaceutical industry. His comments, published by the ATO on… – Continue reading

Decade in jail for Australia’s biggest tax fraud

A former Gold Coast property developer has been jailed for more than a decade in the largest prosecuted tax fraud case in Australia’s history. Glitter Strip businessman Michael Issakidis was sentenced to 10 years and three months in prison by the Supreme Court of New South Wales for his involvement… – Continue reading

Multinational tax avoidance plan extended

The federal government wants to block multinational companies using trusts and partnerships to escape paying tax in Australia. Assistant to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar introduced legislation to parliament on Wednesday that would bring artificial or contrived arrangements involving trusts and partnerships under the multinational tax avoidance laws introduced in 2016…. – Continue reading

Australia Announces Upcoming Guidance On Int’l Tax Matters

The Australian Tax Office has updated and added to its list of the guidance on international tax matters it intends to release this year. This month, the ATO intends to release a guide on corporate residency – central management and control in Australia [reference code 3838], to provide the ATO’s… – Continue reading

Tax avoidance rife among Australia’s largest companies

Amid all the hoopla over company tax cuts, it’s easy to forget that hundreds of companies across Australia haven’t paid corporate taxes in the last decade. From The ABC: Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, one of the most prominent supporters of the Turnbull Government’s proposed big business tax cut, presides over… – Continue reading

Australia Adds To Diverted Profits Tax Guidance

The Australian Tax Office on February 7 released draft Practical Compliance Guideline 2018/D2 on the operation of Australia’s Diverted Profits Tax for consultation. In the 2016-17 Budget, the Government announced that it would introduce a diverted profits tax (DPT), intended to ensure that the tax paid by significant global entities… – Continue reading

Top 10 tax developments 2017

Calendar 2017 saw significant advances in the Australian Tax Office armoury, both through Court wins and new or pending legislation. The Tax Commissioner openly now claims the upper hand in corporate and multi-national tax compliance. The Senate seems almost becalmed!? This note outlines our selection of 10 key things that… – Continue reading

Crypto currency laws now passed

Laws regulating digital currency exchanges for the first time have been approved by Parliament in a major milestone for the burgeoning local sector. The amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act easily passed through Parliament at the end of last week thanks to bipartisan support, despite the Opposition… – Continue reading

Australian Tax and Cryptoassets

Australian tax rules relating to cryptoassets remain in their infancy, comprising largely of antiquated rules for fiat currency transactions, with impractical attempts at guidance from revenue authorities. This practical guide summarises the Australian tax issues for some typical cryptoasset transactions. In this innovative sector, no two transactions are the same…. – Continue reading

Australia Extends CbC Reporting Deadline

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has extended until February 15, 2018, the deadline for “significant global entities” to file their country-by-country (CbC) reports. The extension applies to entities that are December and January balancers filing for the first time. The extension also applies to the filing of local and master… – Continue reading

New Zealand To Remove GST Exemption For Low-Value Imports

New Zealand’s new Revenue Minister, Stuart Nash, has said that the country will reduce or eliminate the goods and services tax exemption for low-value imports. Presently goods worth no more than either NZD226 (USD155.6) or NZD400 (depending on if they are subject to duty) are not subject to goods and… – Continue reading

Morrison Pushing For Australian Company Tax Cuts

Cutting Australia’s company tax rate is “now an urgent matter,” according to Treasurer Scott Morrison. In a speech to CEDA, Morrison said that with the UK, France, and the US each seeking to lower their corporate tax rate, Australian businesses risk “becoming stranded on an uncompetitive tax island if we… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

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,… – Continue reading

Oz tax reforms to affect Australian and international expats

The latest changes in Australia’s housing affordability laws are likely to have an effect on property sales tax liabilities for Australian citizens and associated property taxes for expats living and working in the country as well as property investors. Firstly, Aussie citizens living overseas may lose their Capital Gains Tax… – Continue reading

BHP willing to head to court against ATO tax bill

BHP is willing to head to court to fight the Australian Taxation Office on a more than $1 billion tax bill over its Singapore marketing hub. The world’s largest miner has continually defended its Singapore marketing hub, where it is accused of routing profits, and says it is confident of… – Continue reading

Australia Making Inroads On Tackling MNE Tax Avoidance

Kelly O’Dwyer, Australia’s Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, has stressed that the Government has taken and will continue to take steps to tackle corporate tax avoidance by large businesses. Speaking to Sunrise’s David Koch on August 23, 2017, the Minister said: “We absolutely believe very strongly that you cannot… – Continue reading

Microsoft Reaches Tax Agreement with Australia

Microsoft says iicrosoft says it has settled an Australian tax audit, a deal that follows criticism of the company’s practice of lowering its local tax payments by routing sales made to Australian customers through Singapore. The settlement was disclosed by Daniel Goff, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of worldwide taxes, in… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading