Your tax affairs in the public spotlight: the Australian tax transparency code
On 3 May 2016, the Government released the Board of Taxation’s final report on a voluntary Tax Transparency Code, which is directed at large and medium businesses and provides a framework for such businesses to disclose more information about their tax affairs.
The Board had previously released a Discussion Paper containing its preliminary recommendations on 11 December 2015 for public consultation. The Board received 19 submissions, one confidential and 18 public, the vast majority of which were broadly supportive of the Board’s preliminary recommendations. As such, the Board’s final report does not differ materially from the Discussion Paper.
The Code is pitched at two distinct levels, one for large and one for medium businesses, with large business being urged to provide a greater level of disclosure.
The Board considers the Government’s commitment to implementing the Code reflects an international trend of countries mandating or encouraging increased transparency of tax information.