5 Sept 2014

Australian Government blind sided by multi-nationals

Australia is open for business
Tax. What tax?
Global companies like Google, Starbucks and IKEA are cashing in on government cuts to the Australian Taxation Office's and its ability to make them pay their fair share of taxes here.

This is despite growing pressure to crack down on multinationals reaping massive profits in Australia each year and paying little tax, the ATO has been scaling back its technical ability to force the "transnationals" to pay up.

Private advisers hired by "transnationals" to minimise their tax payments know too much about internal workings of the ATO because they may have worked there, they are using their insider knowledge to profit their clients.

Public servants with hundreds of years of combined technical know-how have left the ATO's "Internationals' Group" in recent years, with the process accelerated by the present massive cuts to the agency. 

This has left younger and less experienced tax officials facing the might of the "big four" accounting firms, KPMG, PwC, Deloitte's and Ernst and Young, who advise the transnationals.

The case deadlines of 90 days imposed on audit teams by ATO bosses eager to increase the number of cases covered have allowed transnationals to simply "wait out" the Taxation Office or to have low-ball settlements accepted.
All I have to do is wait!

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