As published on newmatilda.com, Tuesday 11 April, 2023.
Oxfam Australia has described the Australian Government’s latest legislation on corporate tax transparency as “world leading”, hailing it as a significant move towards reducing tax avoidance in Australia and overseas.
The new legislation is aimed at ensuring large corporations finally start paying their fair share of tax.
Oxfam Australia’s Chief Executive, Lyn Morgain, said the Albanese government’s legislation was a step towards reducing global tax dodging.
“This legislation will expose global corporations shifting profits to tax havens and thus go a long way to stopping this unacceptable behaviour,” she said.
Morgain added that the lack of transparency in the tax system has made it challenging to hold big corporations accountable for their actions.
“The legislation will make waves across the globe in exposing corporate tax avoidance. This leadership by the Albanese Government is to be applauded.”
Oxfam Australia’s background work on this issue has helped draw attention to the problem, said Morgain. Since 2014, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has leaked a vast number of documents, including the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers. The leaked papers have revealed how multinational companies and wealthy individuals use tax havens to increase their profits by avoiding paying taxes in their countries.
Oxfam Australia has released a series of reports that show how Australian companies have joined the global tax dodging effort, including through the use of tax havens. Morgain emphasized that tax dodging deprives some of the world’s poorest people of access to essential services, such as education, health, clean water, and sanitation.
“Tax is crucial for governments to afford the services we all need and cherish,” she said.
“Today extreme wealth and extreme poverty are rising. There are 11 more billionaires in Australia now than before the COVID-19 crisis. This is being fueled by an epidemic of tax evasion and avoidance across the world.
“This legislation will likely restore billions in tax funds to the government at a time when we desperately need it.”