After a series of hearings that saw companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft dragged before the Senate, the Government is set to introduce legislation designed to crack down on corporate tax dodging.
In a Canberra press conference with Treasurer Joe Hockey and Australian Taxation Commissioner Chris Jordan, the pair announced legislation designed to bring money back into the net that had previously slipped out thanks to international profit shifting.
The Treasurer said that tough corporate tax legislation would be introduced in the next sitting fortnight to get companies to comply with the 30 per cent tax rate.
The ATO Commissioner said that he expects the legislation would see hundreds of millions in tax revenue clawed back into Australian government coffers, but the Federal Treasurer won't be drawn on an exact number, saying that each tax bill needs to be looked at on a case-by-case basis.
After hearings featuring some of the world's biggest multinationals, the Government realised that companies were shifting revenues offshore to tax havens that charged little to no corporate tax in a bid to lower their burden in Australia. The new legislation would focus on those redirecting profits.
Treasurer Hockey reports that several key multinationals have been working with the ATO to unravel their tax schemes to comply with the new rules.
Meanwhile, Hockey has also flagged that legislation for charging the GST to online purchases would also be entered into the Parliament in the same sitting fortnight timeframe. Despite the fact that Hockey talks tough on getting companies like Netflix to charge the GST, the ATO Commissioner added that compliance with such legislation is largely voluntary.