Bill amending the income tax transparency laws passed

The highly confidential income and taxation information of Australian-owned private companies will now be exempt from public disclosure. Currently, disclosure is required under the income tax transparency laws. 

HopgoodGanim Lawyers’ Taxation & Revenue team has previously published an alert on 8 July 2015 in relation to the requirement for the Australian Taxation Office to publish the ABN, company name, total revenue, declared taxable income and tax payable of public and private companies with a total income of $100 million or more.

On 15 October 2015, the senate passed the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (Better Targeting the Income Tax Transparency Laws) Bill 2015 amending the income tax transparency laws found at section 3C of the Taxation Administration Act1953. The Bill has now passed both Houses of Parliament and awaits Royal Assent.

A copy of the Bill may be accessed at: https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2015B00136

The amendments in the Bill provide that the Commissioner will not publish the tax information of Australian-owned private companies. These amendments ensure that Australian-owned private companies will have their confidential income and tax information protected. Relevantly, the amendments in the Bill will apply retrospectively from the 2013-14 income year.