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Australia: Tax Loopholes Tightened for Multinationals
Source: https://www.9news.com.au
Source Date: Monday, September 09, 2019
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: Australia
Created: Sep 10, 2019

Multinational companies will find it harder to dodge tax after the Morrison government tightened the rules around valuing assets. But Labor and crossbench senators including Pauline Hanson say the measures don't go far enough. Firms will no longer be able to shift profits offshore through having unrealistically high levels of debt in Australia to claim interest deductions, under legislation which passed parliament on Monday Companies won't be allowed to value assets solely for tax purposes, making them rely on figures published in financial statements. Senator Hanson said the bill was a series of "tidy up" provisions which would tweak rules, but failed to address the big picture. "Wow," she sarcastically told parliament after noting the measure was expected to raise just $240 million by the end of the 2021 financial year.

"This bill is a massive let down. It could be described as a con job." Assistant Financial Services Minister Jane Hume said the bill would strengthen the tax system. "This bill will help ensure Australia has a strong tax system where everyone including multinationals pay their fair share of tax," she said. Offshore sellers of accommodation in Australia like Expedia will be forced to calculate GST in the same way as local hotels. That measure is estimated to raise $15 million over the four-year budget cycle. Under the bill, luxury vehicles refurbished overseas and re-imported to Australia will not be hit by the luxury car tax.

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