Hockey to crack down on global corporate tax avoidance

THE FUTURE IN A BOX: The embargoed Budget papers to be presented tonight.
THE FUTURE IN A BOX: The embargoed Budget papers to be presented tonight. LUKAS COCHAAP

PROFIT-SHIFTING multinational companies would face a whopping 100% fine plus interest, on top of their unpaid taxes, under a proposed crackdown on tax avoidance.

After tax office officials spent months embedding in 30 multinational companies, investigating their tax avoidance tactics, Treasurer Joe Hockey announced the new measures on Monday.

The proposal, to be detailed in Tuesday's budget, would focus on new anti-avoidance laws Mr Hockey will introduced into Parliament tomorrow.

A second measure, to ensure digital online sales in Australia pay goods and services tax, was welcomed by the retail industry, despite not applying to online sales of clothing or household goods.

While Mr Hockey would not say which specific companies were being targeted, it is understood they include technology giants Apple, Microsoft and Google, as well as mining firms such as BHP.

The companies have variously used offshore companies in low-tax countries, including Ireland and Singapore, to divert profits raised through Australian product sales, and avoid paying their full Australian tax bills.

Mr Hockey said he would not detail the expected Government revenue from the proposed measures, but that it was "in the billions".

He said "the world is watching" the Government's proposal, as he did not plan to create new taxes to ensure firms avoiding their duties paid their way.

Topics:  editors picks federalbudget2015-16 joe hockey tax avoidance

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