The 2016 federal budget confirms the government is throwing more resources at its crusade to get multinationals paying “their fair share” of tax on income earned in Australia.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is getting $679 million over four years to fund a 1,300 person taskforce to ensure multinationals, private companies and wealthy individuals pay the right amount of tax.
The taskforce, to be led by tax commissioner Chris Jordan, will include 390 new specialised officers and is expected to raise $3.7 billion between now and 2020.
External experts will be used as well, including a panel of former judges to review any proposed settlement deals to ensure they are fair.
The tax system will also get a new Diverted Profits Tax law starting in July next year to prevent multinationals shifting profits made in Australia offshore to avoid paying tax. Penalties will include a 40% tax.
Treasurer Scott Morrison says the law, similar to regulations in the UK, cements Australia’s position as having amongst the toughest laws in the world to combat corporate tax avoidance.
The new taskforce builds on the new Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law to stop big foreign companies avoiding a taxable presence in Australia.
Last year $127.6 million was committed to fund a Serious Financial Crime taskforce.