Category: Australian Taxation Office

CRS reveals Australians holding $100bn in offshore accounts: reports

Australians are holding more than $100bn in undisclosed offshore accounts, according to new taxation office data collected under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), British newspaper the Guardian has reported. ... - Continue reading

High Court confirms ATO can use information from data leaks

Today the High Court confirmed that the ATO may use information obtained from data leaks, even if leaked from a law firm. Second Commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn said today’s decision in Glencore International v. Commissioner of Taxation means the ATO can continue to use the ‘Paradise Papers’ and other similar data… – 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

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

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

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

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

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

Australian Tax Office Seeks Input On Cryptocurrency Tax Obligations

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has launched a community consultation to seek feedback on practical compliance issues arising from complying with taxation obligations in relation to cryptocurrency transactions. On March 13, the ATO updated its web guidance tax treatment of cryptocurrencies to address some of the common enquiries in relation… – 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

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

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

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

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

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 warns multinationals over tax as Chevron drops appeal

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – US oil and gas major Chevron has withdrawn its High Court appeal over a A$340-million bill from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The withdrawal means that the Full Federal Court decision of April is now final. The company in May turned to the High Court after a… – Continue reading

Company-tax cuts make trusts more attractive as tax minimisation strategy – experts

An ATO ruling is being interpreted as allowing ‘bucket companies’ linked to trusts to be eligible for lower tax rate The federal government’s company-tax reforms are making the use of family trusts even more attractive as a tax minimising strategy, experts have warned. The Coalition’s company tax rate cut from… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

Family trusts could be eligible for ‘mind-boggling’ tax cut

The Australian Tax Office has tweaked its view about whether companies linked to family trusts are eligible for tax relief, but industry veterans say the situation remains “utterly confused” and “mind-boggling”. A new statement on the ATO website says companies will be eligible for the lower 27.5 per cent rate… – Continue reading

Australia Changes Tax Stance on Employee Share Schemes

The Australian Taxation Office has reversed its stance on the tax treatment of trustee dividend-equivalent payments to participants in employee share schemes. The ATO’s June 8 draft guidance, Draft determination TD 2017/D2, deals with circumstances in which an employer establishes a trust to provide shares to employees under an employee… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

Ending secret identities is the ‘new frontier’ in fighting tax evasion: OECD’s head of tax Pascal Saint-Amans

Revealing the secret identifies behind shell companies and opaque trusts is the “new frontier” in fighting tax evasion, says the OECD’s head of tax Pascal Saint-Amans. In an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media, Mr Saint-Amans also spoke about the Turnbull government’s tougher domestic laws aimed at cracking down on multinational… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

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,… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

What happens if you are from the UK or own assets in the UK?

Beware of the dreaded inheritance tax and changes to it from April 2017! Approximately 1.3 million Britons now live in Australia and Brexit may only increase this number! Many think that moving to Australia means they no longer need to worry about UK tax, but often they are not fully… – Continue reading

New ATO draft ruling on company tax residence

Last November, the High Court’s decisions in Bywater Investments and Hua Wang Bank (Bywater) confirmed that a number of companies incorporated overseas were nevertheless Australian resident for tax because they “carried on business” and had their “central management and control” (CM&C) in Australia. The facts were extreme: the primary judge… – Continue reading

Bank transparency, data matching for tax purposes

The government’s plan to issue a regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) concerning banking transparency, which includes allowing the tax authority to access taxpayers’ bank data, has sparked hot public debate. The proponents argue that such an initiative is critical, outlining the fact that the government has to comply with… – Continue reading

Uber Loses Australian Tax Dispute Over GST

Uber is simply providing a taxi service and all its drivers must therefore register to pay goods and services tax, Australia’s Federal Court ruled. The Feb. 17 decision, which could yet be appealed to the full bench of the Federal Court, is “one step in the journey of the tax… – Continue reading

Company tax: big business already pays less than 30% rate, ATO data shows

Business Council of Australia is urging tax cuts to remain competitive but transparency report show members’ effective rate is 24.3% The members of the Business Council of Australia, who are leading the push to cut Australia’s corporate tax rate from 30%, already pay an effective tax rate five percentage points… – Continue reading

Australia Consults On Failure To Disclose Penalties For MNEs

The Australian Treasury is consulting on plans to increase administrative penalties for multinationals that fail to adhere to tax disclosure obligations. The new rules will apply to companies with global revenue of AUD1bn (USD749.7m) or more. From July 1, 2017, penalties relating to the lodgment of tax documents to the… – Continue reading

Showdown between ATO and big business looms as list of company tax paid is revealed

A showdown between the Australian Taxation Office and the nation’s largest companies including Chevron, Crown and BHP Billiton is looming as the tax man hits seven large companies with tax bills amounting to $2 billion. On Friday, the ATO released its corporate tax transparency report for 2014-15, which includes limited… – Continue reading

Australia’s Google Tax may be the second in the world but it’s too early to tell if it’s the ‘toughest’

When introducing the draft legislation for the Diverted Profits or so-called “Google Tax”, Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison claimed it would: …reinforce Australia’s position as having amongst the toughest laws in the world to combat corporate tax avoidance. Australia is the second country to introduce this type of tax, after the… – Continue reading

Tens of millions of dollars of revenue lost through dodgy trust structures

Just a handful of dodgy tax structures being used by Australians cost tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue, according to the Australian Taxation Office. That could mean many millions more are missing, and is why the ATO is cracking down on people misusing trusts. The agency has long… – Continue reading

High Court confirms tax evasion by companies linked to wealthy businessman Vanda Gould

A series of companies associated with high-flying Sydney accountant who had scores of wealthy clients in Sydney’s eastern suburbs have been found to have avoided paying tax by the High Court, in a case that the tax office has described as “blatant tax evasion”. Four companies linked to accountant, Vanda… – Continue reading

Australian ­Taxation Office turns to Facebook to catch cheats

Social media posts, private school records and immigration data are being used by the Australian Taxation Office as part of an increasingly sophisticated crackdown on tax cheats that yielded nearly $10 billion last year. ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan said the tax office had been investing in data collection analysis of… – Continue reading

Australian Goods And Services Tax Guidance For Offshore Suppliers

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has updated its guidance for those non-resident businesses that make supplies of goods, services, or digital products to consumers or GST-registered businesses in Australia, with a couple of changes due to occur next year and a change last month. Since October 1, 2016, certain transactions… – Continue reading

PH eyes tax treaties with Asean peers

The Philippines is eyeing to seal tax treaties with all nine other Asean member-states, according to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). The country already has effective double taxation agreements (DTAs) with Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, BIR Assistant Commissioner Marissa O. Cabreros noted in a presentation at last… – Continue reading

There is one way to put a stop to BHP’s tax avoidance

One of the most common ways multinationals take advantage of current laws to reduce their tax bill is through what’s known as transfer pricing. Former Treasurer Wayne Swan last week accused mining giant BHP of “aggressive transfer pricing,” denying the Australian government A$5.7 billion in tax revenue. For most companies,… – Continue reading

Australia Singles Out Multinational Profit Shifting Arrangements

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has published two new taxpayer alerts that warn against international profit shifting by multinational companies. Taxpayer Alert 2016/11 concerns a new scheme that the ATO said attempts to avoid the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL). The MAAL applies to multinational groups that avoid a taxable presence… – Continue reading

ATO warns accounting firms on tax avoidance

Back in July, ABC’s The Business and Michael West featured an extraordinary raft of allegations from a 32-year veteran industry insider turned whistleblower, George Rozvany, who claimed that multinational tax avoidance was “out of control” and cost the Budget up to $50 billion dollars a year in lost revenue. Rozvany… – Continue reading

Singapore and Australia to share financial account information to fight tax evasion

The tax authorities of Singapore and Australia have agreed to share financial account information to fight tax evasion. In a joint statement on Tuesday (Sept 6), the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced that they have entered into a Competent Authority Agreement on… – Continue reading

Top corporate players sign up for voluntary tax code

Twenty of the nation’s largest companies have voluntarily signed up to a comprehensive new code to disclose more details of their tax affairs in their latest ¬annual accounts following a series of scandals involving local and offshore firms. In the May budget, the federal government announced it was committed to… – Continue reading