The recently announced Senate inquiry into corporate tax avoidance

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Tax insights: Your tax affairs in the public spotlight

On 2 October 2014, the Senate established an inquiry into corporate tax avoidance and referred this matter to the Economics References Committee to report by the first sitting day of June 2015.

A Senate Committee inquiry has been established to consider tax avoidance and aggressive minimisation by corporations in Australia and multinational corporations operating in Australia.  It is due to report in June 2015.

The Senate Committee Chairman recently advised that the Committee had written to 40 ASX listed companies to ask why their effective tax rate is less than 30 per cent. Details of the Senate Committee process have not yet been released, although it is expected that representatives from corporates, the tax profession and the ATO will be invited or required to appear.

Overseas experience of similar inquiries indicates that the Senate Committee may ask far reaching and detailed questions concerning the structure and tax affairs of corporate groups, particularly multinationals.

A number of other developments are resulting in greater focus on the tax affairs of companies and the amount of tax paid.

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