ATO hits up professionals in multibillion-dollar swoop

The Tax Avoidance Taskforce has raised $2.9 billion in tax liabilities from seven multinational companies, as the ATO meets with affected taxpayers and their professional advisers.

The 1,000-person strong Tax Avoidance Taskforce, which was established last year, has been investigating the tax arrangements of a large number of companies, including multinational corporations operating in Australia.

“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,” Treasurer Scott Morrison said.

“Multinational companies are being put on notice.”

The taskforce is currently undertaking 71 audits in the large business area covering 59 multinational corporations to ensure they are complying with our taxation laws, including the new Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL).

At least seven major multinational audits are expected to come to a head before 30 June; according to the ATO, four in e-commerce and three in the energy and resource industries. The seven multinational enterprises collectively owe $2.9 billion in tax liabilities.

The ATO has also 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.

“The Australian people expect all corporations to pay the right amount of tax, and this includes multinational companies,” Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O'Dwyer said.

“Everyday Australians pay their taxes. 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.”

 

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