The government says it will raise $3.7 billion from tough budget reforms targeting tax-avoiding multinational companies and high wealth individuals.
As part of a range of reforms, Treasurer Scott Morrison said the government will establish a new Tax Avoidance Taskforce, and a Tax Transparency Code will be introduced to encourage greater transparency within the corporate sector, and especially within multinational corporations.
“These new laws will be backed up by a new operational taskforce of more than 1,000 specialist staff in the ATO to police and prosecute companies, multinationals and high wealth individuals not paying the tax they should,” Treasurer Scott Morrison said in handing down this year’s budget.
According to the government, the taskforce is expected to raise $3.7 billion in additional revenue over the next four years.
A Diverted Profits Tax, to prevent multinationals from shifting profits earned in Australia offshore to avoid paying tax, will also be introduced.
The government said this will prevent multinationals from exploiting cross-country tax differences to defer or avoid paying tax and will align transfer pricing rules with the latest international guidelines.
“Everyone has to pay their fair share of tax, especially large corporates and multinationals, on what they earn here in Australia,” Mr Morrison said.
“Last December, despite opposition, we secured the passage of world-leading multinational tax avoidance laws. The new powers and penalties in these laws are now in place and supporting the Australian Taxation Office to ensure multinationals pay tax on what they earn in Australia. However, we need to do more,” he said.
At the same time, the government will introduce new whistleblower protections for people who disclose information about tax misconduct to the ATO.