Category: Australian Taxation Office

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Wesfarmers urges Aldi to sign tax code in ‘corporate peer pressure’

Coles has urged its German rival Aldi to sign up to a new tax transparency code that will lead to more big businesses, particularly multinationals, releasing detailed information about the tax they pay. Aldi has yet to sign up to the Voluntary Tax Transparency Code, which targets more than 1500...

ATO Issues Anti-Avoidance Warnings For Multinationals

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued a series of taxpayer alerts that caution large companies against using contrived arrangements to avoid their tax obligations. The first alert concerns arrangements where Australian consolidated groups use offshore permanent establishments that have entered into intra-group transactions. Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn explained: “Through...

Australia to gain from Singapore joining OECD fight against multinational tax avoidance

Multinationals suspected of routing Australian profits via Singapore will be outed to tax authorities, with the low-tax nation this week signing up to the global plan to fight tax evasion. Companies including big miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto as well as technology giants Apple and Google, have admitted using...

Global Tax Update – June 2016

Asia Pacific The January – March edition of tax highlights for the Asia Pacific region highlights industry developments from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore including: Australia’s new tax system for Managed Investment Trusts The final stage of China’s B2V reform to be rolled out from...

Australia Moves to Remove ‘Double Taxation’ on Digital Currency

For a month starting May 3, The Treasury of the Australian government will be accepting submissions from interested parties to comment on a newly-released discussion paper entitled ‘GST treatment of digital currency’ as part of the 2016-17 Budget. The Treasury says the government has realized that consumers are ‘double taxed’...

Australia announces multinational tax avoidance in federal budget

Australia announced a further crackdown on multinational tax avoidance in its annual budget on Tuesday, including the planned introduction of a UK-style diverted profits tax (DPT), that it expects to raise A$3.9 billion over the next four years. The government is creating a new Tax Avoidance Taskforce of 1,000 specialist...

The missing billions of multinational tax

It’s easy to stoke outrage at multinationals’ low taxes but harder to do something about it. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – the so-called rich-countries club – tax avoidance by multinational companies is worth US$100-240 billion a year. That’s 4-10% of total global corporate income...