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Greens 18 point plan to combat tax avoidance

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 15 Apr 2016

Greens spokesperson for Finance, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, today has released the most comprehensive policy platform put forward in Australia to tackle the scourge of multi-national tax avoidance.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Paying a fair share of tax is the price a company pays for having the opportunity to do business in prosperous country like Australia. Multi-nationals are using every trick in the book to avoid their fundamental obligations to this country and Australia needs to re-write the rule book to put a stop to it.

“The Greens have led the national debate on negative gearing and on a Royal Commission into the financial sector. I am proud to continue the work of former Australian Greens leader Christine Milne in pushing hard for reforms to stop tax dodging.

“Whether you are Google or Chevron or Glencore, the time for paying your fair share starts now. When businesses don’t pay their fair share of tax then governments can’t provide the services we all rely upon.

“The Greens tax avoidance package is a blueprint that includes 18 measures across the areas of compliance, tax law, disclosure and diplomacy.

“We need to restore funding to the Australian Tax Office so we can properly scrutinise the claims companies make about their tax affairs. We need to provide the powers that the regulators like ASIC are demanding so that they can simply do their job properly.

“When a company does business from a jurisdiction that doesn’t share basic tax data with Australia we should have the ability to impose financial costs on that company for doing so. The era for secrecy in corporate tax affairs is over.

“In 2012 alone, over 200 businesses operating in Australia conducted internal company transfers to the value of around $83 billion between Australia and ‘secrecy jurisdictions.’ While some of these may be legitimate it is hard to believe that tax avoidance is not a major factor in many of these transfers.

“Finally, Australia needs to become an ‘activist middle-power’ when it comes to tax avoidance. The Greens will invest $400 million into taking our case to the world on tax avoidance. If Australia can aggressively pursue bilateral and multilateral trade deals, then we can also aggressively pursue deals on tax avoidance,” he concluded.

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