Commissioner of taxation, Chris Jordan said this unprecedented transparency measure gives the community the opportunity to see some corporate tax data that the ATO holds.
“Community trust and confidence in the way these large companies operate matters. And, tax should matter to these companies. It is not something to be taken lightly. Collectively, these 1,500 large corporates paid almost $40 billion in company tax in the 2014 fiscal year.”
The data released by the government shows 579 businesses reported an annual turnover of more than $100 million in the 2014 financial year but paid no company tax.
In a statement Mr Jordon was quick to defend these companies, stating “no tax paid does not necessarily mean tax avoidance”.
“Any companies with unusual financial or taxation numbers are closely investigated by the ATO. Over half of these 1,500 companies have been subject to ATO review or audit over the past three years, with the ATO’s risk and intelligence systems working all the time to ensure that we can all have confidence in the tax system.”
Mr Jordon said publishing this data is a step forward in improving corporate tax transparency.
“The government is working with the board of taxation to go further and develop a voluntary code so that complying companies can tell their own tax story in a reliable and consistent way.
“Large corporates now have to consider the impact of their tax information as a factor in managing their reputation with the markets, their shareholders, their consumers and in the Australian community,” Mr Jordon concluded.