The public often look to the tax affairs of specific large corporate groups to determine how well the tax system is working. The privacy provisions under which we operate mean we generally can’t provide information to the public about specific taxpayers.
This has meant the public have had to rely on other materials such as statutory accounts issued by a company as the main source of information about its tax affairs. In rare instances, further information has become available when a company has disputed their tax affairs in court.
Additional data sources help the community understand the tax compliance of large corporate groups. Reforms have provided additional sources to the public. These include:
- Report of entity tax information – the annual corporate tax transparency publication of:
- total income
- taxable income
- tax payable of corporate tax entities earning over $100 million (Australian public and foreign owned)
- tax payable of corporate entities earning over $200 million (Australian-owned resident private)
- the requirement for significant global entities to provide general purpose financial statements to us and for those statements to be published by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), where they haven’t already been lodged with ASIC
- enhancements to the accounting framework applying to uncertain tax positions.
Many large corporate groups have already started providing much more detailed information about their taxation affairs to help inform public debate.
Over 210 corporate groups have signed up to the Board of Taxation’s Voluntary Tax Transparency Code. Over 170 of these companies are large corporate groups who are partly responsible for approximately two-thirds of corporate tax payable and represent a large proportion of corporate activity in Australia.
Audited accounts may contain information on material book to tax adjustments in preparing the provision for tax. Accounting standards on disclosure of uncertain tax positions have also been strengthened. This means companies must estimate their exposure on all matters it is probable we will dispute.
To find out more, see: