Australian Taxation Office

New or updated materials on ATO website, including:

Royal Assent to Bill

Tax Laws Amendment (Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance) Bill 2015, which gives effect to a package of measures announced in the 2015-16 Federal Budget to combat multinational tax avoidance, received Royal Assent on 11 December 2015.

Tax Transparency

The Board of Taxation has released a consultation paper regarding a voluntary tax transparency code, intended to encourage greater public disclosure of tax information by businesses, particularly large multinationals. The paper contains preliminary recommendations, including improvements to disclosures of tax information in financial statements for large and medium businesses, and an annual "taxes paid" report by large businesses. Submissions can be made until 29 January 2016.

Tax Reform

The communique from last week's meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) is now available, and notes that "COAG agreed to continue investigating a full range of Commonwealth and state tax and revenue sharing options. Leaders reiterated their commitment to changes to the tax system being fair, with a growth enhancing tax mix and base. All governments reiterated their commitment to keeping taxes as low as possible."

Green's tax policy

The Australian Greens have released costings for 4 tax measures which would, based on costings by the Parliamentary Budget Office, collect $37.6 billion over the next 4 years. These measures are:

  • limiting superannuation tax breaks for high income earners
  • removal of the CGT discount
  • ending negative gearing for new investors, and
  • abolition of most fossil fuel subsidies.

Tax Reform

The latest publication in PwC's Protecting Our Prosperity series, A Corporate Rate Reduction: the case for and against, considers the case for reducing Australia’s 30% corporate tax rate. We look at the economic arguments and counter arguments for taking this step, the political difficulties it would pose, and possible budgetary implications.

LegalTalk

This LegalTalk Alert provides an overview of Australia's new foreign investment regime that came into force on 1 December 2015.