Voluntary Tax Transparency Code notification to ATO

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued guidance on the Voluntary Tax Transparency Code. The Tax Transparency Code, developed by the Board of Taxation, is a set of principles and minimum standards to guide medium and large corporate businesses on public disclosure of tax information. The guidance also details how businesses can notify the ATO once the public disclosures have been made.

The ATO is responsible for administering the Code and compiling a list of published Tax Transparency reports provided by businesses that have adopted the Code. The list for 2015-16 is currently being compiled as the ATO progressively receives published reports from businesses.

General purpose financial statements for significant global entities

The ATO has commenced consultation on the administrative arrangements relating to the legislative requirement for a corporate entity that is a ‘significant global entity’ to lodge general purpose financial statements with the ATO, if they are not required to lodge them with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

In broad terms, a significant global entity is an entity with annual global income of at least AUD 1 billion or that is part of a group with annual global income of at least AUD 1 billion. The new financial reporting requirement applies to years beginning on or after 1 July 2016.

In the ATO’s consultation paper, a number of issues are raised, including:

  • the interpretation of key concepts, such as general purpose financial statements and the applicable accounting standards required for their preparation; what constitutes “commercially accepted principles relating to accounting” for purposes of preparing general purpose financial statements and the evidence required to demonstrate this fact
  • how an affected entity can give their general purpose financial statements to the ATO and
  • practical guidance to assist affected entities to comply.

The ATO is seeking comments on its discussion paper until 30 September 2016.