• Tax Avoidance Taskforce

    The ATO Tax Avoidance Taskforce scrutinises the tax affairs of multinational enterprises, large public and private groups and wealthy individuals operating in Australia. Its role is to ensure these entities pay the right amount of tax, and boost Australian community confidence in the tax system.

    Established in 2016, the taskforce enhances and extends our existing compliance activities. We already tackle tax avoidance – this taskforce bolsters these efforts.

    The taskforce investigates and challenges the most aggressive tax avoidance arrangements, including profit shifting. We are working with our partner agencies and other jurisdictions to ensure the fairness of our tax system for all Australians.

    The Australian Government has funded the taskforce with $679 million over four years.

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    New laws

    The taskforce is supported by new legislative measures to ensure the right amount of tax is paid in Australia. The legislation is either in place or being developed.

    • Diverted profits tax (DPT), to ensure significant global entities pay tax that reflects the economic substance of their activities in Australia.
    • Implementation of the OECD hybrid mismatch rules , specifically Action Item 2 of the G20/OECD base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) Action Plan to neutralise the effects of mismatched arrangements under the laws of two or more tax jurisdictions.
    • Multinational anti-avoidance law (MAAL), to ensure multinationals pay the right amount of tax on the profits earned in Australia.

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    Engagement and assurance

    We have a justified trust strategy to review the top 1,000 multinational and public companies, and top 320 private groups. This is a tailored compliance approach to ensure they pay the right amount of tax.

    Justified trust reinforces our commitment to consulting and developing mutual expectations – making it easier for those who do the right thing, and harder for those who do not.

    We engage with taxpayers affected by any changes from the earliest possible point.

    We are committed to transparency about how we assess risk and administer the system. Along with the transparency and accountability obligations required by Australian law, we implement the OECD's BEPS transparency initiatives.

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    Compliance programs

    Our tax performance programs match specialist tax performance teams with taxpayers. It is the focus of the compliance programs to identify and deal with non-compliance.

    The Tax Avoidance Taskforce coordinates:

    • the international risk program, which focuses on international profit shifting and corporate restructuring
    • programs for private groups and wealthy Australians, including trusts and promoters.

    We encourage taxpayers who have entered into tax avoidance arrangements to voluntarily disclose. At the same time, advisers who assist or promote tax avoidance behaviours and arrangements will have a higher level of scrutiny applied to their clients.

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    Last modified: 09 Jun 2017QC 52477