The Federal Government is aiming to crack down on corporate tax cheats by improving transparency and the sharing of information between key corporate regulators.
Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury says that while protecting taxpayer confidentiality for individuals is essential, it is questionable whether large and multinational businesses should have the same level of secrecy.
"Large multinational companies that use complex arrangements and contrived corporate structures to avoid paying their fair share of tax should not be able to hide behind a veil of secrecy," Mr Bradbury said in a statement.
Improving the transparency of the business tax system would encourage enterprises to pay their fair share of tax and discourage aggressive tax minimisation practices.
The government will explore ways to improve the sharing of tax information between the Australian Taxation Office and a number of other regulators, Mr Bradbury said.
These include the Foreign Investment Review Board, The Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
The government has used existing tax privacy laws to prevent release of how much it is raising from the minerals resource rent tax that came into operation last year.
Mr Bradbury will consult with Treasury and the government's specialist reference group that was formed in December to untangle taxation methods used by multinational corporates to reduce their Australian tax bills.
The 14-member group, which includes union, business and taxation industry representatives and is chaired by Treasury revenue group head Rob Heferen, will hold its first meeting later in February.It will look at which federal taxes should be disclosed and how that information should be made publicly available.
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