Calling all corporate tax dodgers
8:48 PM (30 minutes ago)
Last year, Treasurer Joe Hockey promised a “crackdown” on corporate tax avoidance. Instead he snuck a $600 million Christmas gift to some big, rent-seeking companies — by reneging on a promise to shut a notorious tax loophole.1
Fortunately, the Senate isn’t letting corporate tax dodgers off the hook so easily. They’re holding a formal inquiry to investigate the dodgy tax practices of multinationals and come up with some answers. The inquiry’s seeking public submissions, but we only have until Monday to have our say.
We’ve talked to key political insiders who’ve told us the best way to hold those companies to account, have an impact on the Senate Committee, and put pressure on the Government is: to create one hard-hitting submission highlighting the need for reform, supported by thousands of community members. But we only have a couple days to get it done.
Since the G20 last year, Treasurer Joe Hockey has huffed and puffed about corporate tax ‘robbers’ but has done close to diddly-squat about them.2 Inexplicably, the Abbott Government has refused to even support the Senate inquiry.
Firstly, the Treasurer canned an anti-avoidance measure to keep companies from using offshore subsidiaries to minimise their tax. What’s more, after saying transparency is: “our best weapon to crack down on tax avoidance“, the Treasurer may now scrap rules requiring $100 million companies to publish their tax details.4
Meanwhile, corporate tax dodging is costing us billions of dollars, while the Government asks everyday Australians to pay for GP visits and take on a lifetime of debt for a university degree.
This Senate inquiry is on track to expose the aggressive tax minimisation practices of big corporations — it will start summoning big companies to its hearings soon. Its findings will also make it harder for the Government to pretend it’s taking adequate action on corporate tax dodging. Now, with only a few days left until submissions close, a strong show of community outrage will help strengthen the Senate Committee’s case for change.
Will you add your name to this submission before Monday’s deadline? The more people who sign it, the more powerful it will be: http://www.getup.org.au/corporatetaxsubmission
Thanks again for all that you do,
Lily, Mark, Nat and Georgina, for the GetUp team
PS – If you have insider knowledge of multinational profit shifting and aggressive tax minimisation practices, or have expertise in corporate tax avoidance, why not make an individual submission to the inquiry? The submissions are protected by Parliamentary privilege, and the Committee could use your knowledge and expertise! To make an individual submission before Monday 2 February, click on the Senate Inquiry’s link below and follow the instructions: http://www.getup.org.au/individual-senate-submission. We’d also love for you to forward a copy of your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org!
1. ‘Hockey backflips on tax laws to target multinational profit shifters’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 December 2014.
2. ‘ATO chief identified tax ‘abuse’ by multinationals before Joe Hockey backed away from reform pledge’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 December 2014.
2. ‘The poor face onerous rules while rich corporations avoid tax with impunity’, The Monthly, November 2014.
4. ‘Policy of inaction on multinational tax’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 December 2014.