Articles on Tax avoidance

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Pressure is building ahead of the Brisbane G20 Leaders’ Summit for action on tax avoidance by multinationals. Andrew Sutherland/Flickr

Key events in the G20 push on tax avoidance

Tax avoidance by multinational enterprises is not new. But the current level of political will and public outcry on the issue is uncommon in the history of taxation. The upcoming G20 meeting in Brisbane…
Leaked documents reveal how multinational companies use PwC in Luxembourg to shift profits and avoid tax. Nicolas Bouvy/AAP

Luxembourg leaks: how harmful tax competition leads to profit shifting

Hundreds of advance tax agreements between Luxembourg and more than 300 taxpayers were leaked and published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists last week. The taxpayers involved…
Future Fund Chairman and former Australian treasurer Peter Costello is likely to face more questions on why the fund has been involved in secret tax deals in Europe. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Luxembourg leaks: G20 alone can’t stamp out tax avoidance

The hollowing out of tax collected for public purposes by rich and poor nations is not confined to technology and mining companies, according to a major leak of secret tax agreements covering more than…
Oxfam estimates that at least A$21 trillion is hidden in tax havens. www.shutterstock.com

Tax haven crackdown still to deliver missing billions

Tax avoidance, or the use of legal arrangements to reduce tax, is rife. According to the Australian Tax Office (ATO), Australian companies in 2012 sent almost A$60 billion to related parties in tax havens…
News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch has been given plenty of opportunities to air his agenda ahead of the G20 summit. Jason Reed/Reuters Pool/AAP

Murdoch discovers inequality, but he’s not on ‘Team Australia’

Rupert Murdoch’s special address to an exclusive meeting of the world’s most powerful finance ministers got a second airing this week. In a breathless front-page “exclusive” in The Australian, Paul Kelly…
Treasurer Joe Hockey has picked up the pace on tax information sharing, in response to a push by the OECD. Dave Hunt/AAP

What’s needed for Australia to seriously tackle tax avoidance

Despite Treasurer Joe Hockey’s continued statements that the government is doing “everything we can … to ensure that companies that earn profits in Australia pay tax in Australia”, the federal government…
Treasurer Joe Hockey joins a long line of leaders unable to close the gap between promise and reality. Dave Hunt/AAP

Joe Hockey and the G20 headed for promise fatigue

Governments are notorious for missing targets. Look no further than France or Spain’s recent fiscal calumny, despite the European Union’s excessive deficit procedure. Closer to home, the Association of…
Corporations need our help. Crispin Semmens

How to pull the plug on irresponsible capitalism

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has proposed a plan to stop companies from avoiding billions of dollars in taxes. As we know from the scandals surrounding Amazon, Starbucks, Vodafone…
Google books much of its Australian profit to offshore operations. Tawel/Flickr

Information is power: OECD tax plan puts Apple and Google on notice

Public outcries over tax avoidance by multinational enterprises like Apple and Google have pushed politicians to act. The unprecedented international political will to combat base erosion profit shifting…
Tax justice campaigns can be effective, if they’re aimed at the right targets. David Parry/PA

Tax justice campaigners should stop picking on the OECD

Have the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the G20 really attempted to “discredit and discourage” the participation of developing countries in a new system of automatic tax information…
I bet that you look good on your tax forms… Yui Mok/PA

Don’t knock Arctic Monkeys – most of us are tax avoiders

Arctic Monkeys became members of a club they would probably have rather avoided recently. Joining the likes of Take That, Jimmy Carr and Anne Robinson, they became the latest celebrities to be vilified…
Last year’s merger between Glencore and Xstrata has seen almost no tax paid in Australia in the last three years. Gaetan Bally/AAP

Hockey to tighten tax laws for multinationals but loopholes still exist

Treasurer Joe Hockey has said that he will improve the structural integrity of Australia’s tax system to address international tax avoidance by multinational enterprises. In particular, the tax law will…
A load worth bearing? Shutterstock

The super rich and tax: lifters or leaners?

A recent report from think tank Per Capita highlighted increasing concern over inequality in Australia’s taxation system, particularly whether high income earners are paying their fair share of tax. Despite…
Westfield Retail Trust’s chairman Richard Warburton deferred a vote on controversial plans to spin off the group. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Westfield’s stoush should shine light on tax paid by property trusts

Reports of the Westfield Group’s attempts to push through a A$15 billion restructure - complete with a boisterous showdown last Thursday - have mostly concentrated around the effect of the deal on its…
Europe has the right to be forgotten, Google does not have the right to forget Europe. Eric Fischer

Right to be forgotten ruling highlights global reach of EU law

The Court of Justice of the European Union has issued a ruling that affects privacy and data protection for millions of people. But the ruling is also significant because of what it says about whether…
Shell companies can still flourish in sunny tax havens. Gronkh

Don’t be misled by Vince Cable’s talk of corporate transparency

Business secretary Vince Cable has announced his intention to create a public register of UK company ownership in a bid to tackle tax evasion and money laundering by shady corporate bodies. But don’t believe…
US multinationals, through a network of lobby groups, are pushing back against attempts to reform international corporate taxation. EPA/Michael Reynolds

G20 tax reform mired in shadowy world of lobbying

Researchers estimate the US loses more than US$90 billion annually in corporate income tax revenues from tax loopholes and tax havens, also known as base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). With a growing…

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