ASX 200 companies are efficient at finding ways to avoid paying tax, according to a study.
An investigation, conducted by United Voice, one of Australia’s biggest unions, in collaboration with the Tax Justice Network Australia, examines taxes paid over the last decade by the top 200 companies on the Australian Stock Exchange.
The analysis found:
- 29% have an effective tax rate of 10% or less
- 57% report using secrecy jurisdictions
- 14% have an effective tax rate of 0%
- Up to $8.4 billion could be lost in tax revenue
David O’Byrne, National Secretary, United Voice says the community will be shocked to learn that many of Australia’s largest corporations can legally eliminate the need to pay tax at all or reduce their tax bill to a rate of 10% or less.
In the last five years the proportion of tax received from businesses shrank to 19% from 23%, while the proportion received from individuals rose from 37% to 39%.
“Australia needs to tackle this threat head on. Otherwise, ordinary Australians and small businesses will end up paying more and getting less in return as services are cut,” says David O’Byrne.
In 2013, 57% of ASX 200 companies disclosed subsidiaries in tax havens but this could be much higher as reporting is not mandatory
Last financial year $47 billion flowed from Australia to tax havens.
Here are the companies with the lowest effective tax rate: