Private companies may be forced to disclose tax affairs

The Senate has this week passed the Multinational Tax Avoidance Bill, with amendments that opposition assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh says will “restore tax transparency”.

Mr Leigh said the amendments have “reversed the Government’s shameful attempt to gut Australia’s tax transparency laws”.

Under the amendments, private companies that earn more than $100 million a year will continue to be included in transparency reports published by the Australian Taxation Office.

Importantly, however, companies will be able to apply to the Commissioner of Taxation for an exemption where there is a genuine risk that disclosure will affect sensitive commercial negotiations.

“In restoring tax transparency while supporting the key multinational tax provisions, the Senate has greatly improved the Government’s bill,” Mr Leigh said

“Labor, the Greens and crossbench senators including Nick Xenaphon and Ricky Muir worked constructively to deliver an outcome which is good for tax fairness and good for Australians,” he said in a joint statement with Senator Sam Dastyari.

The bill will now return to the House of Representatives for a final vote.

“If the Government is serious about ensuring all companies pay their fair share of tax, it will pass the amended bill without further delay,” Mr Leigh and Senator Dastyari said.

 

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