The ATO has reiterated its support of the Tax Avoidance Taskforce in addressing issues “at the top end of town” following the announcement that medical equipment company ResMed had settled its tax dispute for the equivalent of US$381.7 million.
“This announcement is another example of the success of the Tax Avoidance Taskforce in strengthening the Australian Tax System,” deputy commissioner Rebecca Saint said, adding that “the impact of the taskforce at the top end of town has been significant and has made a significant contribution to revenue in Australia as well as locking in improved compliance and tax revenues into the future”.
Ms Saint said since its inception in 2016, the taskforce contributed to the ATO collecting over $10 billion in additional tax from public and multinational businesses over that period, “as well as locking in future tax compliance”.
“I am happy to report that the vast bulk of Australia’s largest companies are meeting their tax obligations in full, and that ordinary Australians should be confident that the remainder are being robustly held to account,” she said.
“Taskforce funding has allowed extra focus on international tax structuring to further improve the system, pursuing concerning conduct where it is identified.”
In mid-October, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg referenced the taskforce upon welcoming the “historic” OECD tax agreement, which saw the majority of the world’s economies agree to setting a minimum corporate tax rate of 15 per cent as governments move to ensure global mega corporations are paying their “fair share” of tax.
“Australia’s ongoing engagement in the OECD-led multilateral process complements the strong action the government has taken to strengthen the integrity of Australia’s corporate tax system and prevent multinational tax avoidance,” Mr Frydenberg said at the time.
“The government has implemented more than a dozen measures to address corporate and multinational tax avoidance, including the Multinational Anti-avoidance Law, the diverted profits tax, increased tax penalties for large entities, and establishing a dedicated Tax Avoidance Taskforce within the ATO.”