AAP – Australia is losing more than $4 billion a year through Australian-based multinationals dodging their taxes by using corporate tax havens, Oxfam Australia says.
In new research it names the “world’s worst tax havens” that encourage multinationals to avoid their taxes, revenue that could be spent on schools, hospitals and tackling poverty.
While it says the Australian government has taken steps in the right direction, data released on Friday by the Australian Taxation Office showing more than one in three large companies are paying no tax is evidence more needs to be done.
However, releasing the ATO’s corporate tax transparency 2015/16 report, tax commissioner Chris Jordan clarified that no tax paid does not necessarily mean tax avoidance.
These companies may have incurred an accounting and tax loss in the current year or in prior years, and are now using those to reduce current taxable income, Mr Jordan said.
Even so, Oxfam says this is only part of the problem with countries around the world – including Australia – slashing or planning to slash corporate tax rates.