Thursday, December 17, 2015

What Happened To Confidentiality?

The Australian Tax Office has released the names of fifteen hundred large companies which paid no income tax last year.

Adolf wants to know why they were named.  The release of this information is disgraceful.  If they had said fifteen hundred of the countries largest companies paid no tax that might just have been OK.  It seems the ATO wants Australians to think these companies are bad guys.

However, there is no suggestion these companies have engaged in tax evasion.  (The writer of the article seem unable to discern the difference between avoidance and evasion.)  Just a populist slur to curry favour with the ignorant ferals who don't understand that if you make no profit you don't pay tax.

Of course, the intelligent reader will draw the correct conclusion.  The companies are operating within the law and the ATO is simply dead set useless at identifying tax evasion.

When you dig down into the article you find the following gems:

.....this:-

"“Some of these foreign owned companies are overly aggressive in the way they structure their operations.  We will continue to challenge the more aggressive arrangements to show that we are resolute about ensuring companies are not unreasonably playing on the edge. If they do, they can expect to be challenged.”"
This looks to me like code for 'we haven't been able to get any court decisions to go our way.'

....and:-

Mining companies, which are battling the hangover from the resources boom, and foreign-owned finance companies still carrying the wounds of the global financial crisis were the most likely to pay no tax.  However, the data also showed some companies in other sectors apparently operating on non existent or razor-thin profit margins.
 So there you go.  Another non-story from a bureaucrat who wants more funding to build a bigger empue.

1 comment:

Noel said...

"The Commissioner has a legislative duty to report information about certain corporate tax entities with a total income of $100 million or more for the 2013–14 income year and later income years."

ATO or pollies?