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  • ATO clarifies impact of the MAAL

    Commentary today has misrepresented the ATO’s evidence given at Senate Estimates in relation to the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Legislation (MAAL). We wish to confirm the ATO is active in ensuring compliance by multinationals and the corporate tax sector, and the MAAL is effective in bringing multinational taxpayers to the table.

    The facts are:

    Our work has raised over $4 billion in total assessments against large public groups and multinationals in the last financial year alone, with almost $2.9 billion raised from just seven very large multinational companies. Of this $4 billion total, more than $1 billion was raised from 10 audits of companies as part of our focus on the e-commerce sector.

    The MAAL bolsters the capabilities of the ATO in combatting tax avoidance and was instrumental in the closure of almost a quarter of the $4 billion in additional assessments last year.

    A number of companies, notably Google and Facebook, have stated publicly they will now return Australian sourced sales to Australia. This is as a result of the operation of the MAAL. We anticipate additional taxable sales now returned to Australia will amount to over $7 billion each year. That’s $7 billion in sales booked and the appropriate profit of these activities taxed in Australia for the first time, and locked in for the future.

    For one high profile taxpayer, our MAAL compliance activities led to a five-fold increase in the amount of tax they paid.

    Through the Tax Avoidance Taskforce the ATO now has more than 1,000 officers dedicated to examining and overseeing multinationals and large public and private groups operating in Australia.

    Our compliance and enforcement capabilities have significantly benefited from the strengthening of Australia’s tax laws – particularly the changes through the MAAL and the Diverted Profits Tax to call ‘game over’ on delay tactics. We have achieved results. We have not only cleaned up the past and any ‘back tax owed’ but critically, we have locked in future arrangements to safeguard against the insipid roundabout of repeated ‘chase and tidy up’ scenarios with taxpayers.

    The Australian community can have full confidence the ATO now has the laws, the resources and the expertise to ensure the right tax is paid in Australia.

    Last modified: 25 Oct 2017QC 53731