Responding to the release of data by the Australian Taxation Office, Oxfam Australia’s Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke said:
“The irrefutable need for the Federal Government to take tougher action on corporate tax avoidance has yet again been exposed by ATO data revealing that more than one in three large companies paid no tax at all in Australia in the 2015-16 financial year.
“The intolerable failure of large companies to pay their fair share of taxes is fuelling poverty and the global inequality crisis.
“In Australia, tax dodging is robbing the public coffers of money which could be used to pay for essential services such as schools, hospitals and public transport.
“The ATO data does not reflect the billions of dollars that large companies are also failing to pay in taxes in developing countries, where the money is needed to tackle poverty and extreme inequality.
“Tax-dodging by multinationals globally is robbing governments in the poorest countries of much-needed funding for clean water, education and healthcare. This is shameful in a world where 400 million of the poorest people don’t have access to basic healthcare.
“The latest ATO data also comes just two months after the ATO revealed multinationals were avoiding paying an estimated $2.5 billion in taxes in the 2014-15 financial year.
“How much proof does the Federal Government need before it’s compelled to take further action and properly crack down on our broken tax system?
“The Opposition has promised changes that would make large companies’ tax affairs public for every country in which they operate, as well as releasing a publicly accessible registry of the beneficial ownership of Australian listed companies and trusts.
”Oxfam is again calling on the Federal Government to follow suit and introduce public country-by-country reporting that requires large companies to declare details of income, taxes paid, profits and employees, as well as making the registry of beneficial ownership public.
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