Late last week, the ATO published the tax details of some 1,904 large Australian and foreign-owned public and private companies operating in Australia.
Tax Justice Network spokesperson Jason Ward said the data shows that compared to the previous year, petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT) payments fell by more than $500 million despite significant growth in export production.
“The PRRT payments revealed in the ATO data reinforce the need for a rigorous review and reform of this failing tax system that results in multinational oil companies exploiting and exporting Australia’s natural resources for free,” said Mr Ward.
Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan said there were “no surprises” in this data for the ATO, and stressed that the data is historical – which exposes certain limitations.
“It doesn’t reflect recent changes to our administration of the tax system, from the recently introduced Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL), work undertaken through the Tax Avoidance Taskforce or any ATO interventions undertaken with these taxpayers over the last two years,” said Mr Jordan.
“Consistent with our last release and actual accounting results reported to the ASX more broadly, about one third of taxpayers on the list reported no tax payable,” he said.
“No tax paid does not necessarily mean tax avoidance. Even companies with very high total income sometimes make losses and you will no doubt recognise some large Australian organisations on the list that fall into this category.”