The West Australian
The Federal Government is under pressure to target Australian companies that are using a who’s who of international tax havens to avoid paying their share of tax.
Despite the Government focusing on multinational firms and their tax minimisation strategies, a report suggests Australia has its own problems, with some of the nation’s biggest firms paying less than 10 in the dollar in tax.
Last week, the G20, which is chaired by Australia this year, vowed to tackle tax evasion and avoidance by multinationals, revealing a series of plans including a requirement that companies reveal exactly where they make profits and how much tax they pay in individual nations.
Much of the focus was on multinational firms, especially IT giants such as Google and Apple.
But a report by the Tax Justice Network and the United Voice union shows companies on the ASX200 have created thousands of subsidiary firms that are based in known tax havens.
According to the network, 72 of the top 200 listed firms are using 269 subsidiaries in Singapore and 55 are using subsidiaries based in Hong Kong.
Other well known tax havens used by big firms include the British Virgin Islands, Jersey, Luxembourg, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Switzerland.
The network estimated at least $80 billion in tax revenue between 2004 and last year had been lost because of the use of the tax havens.
Twenty-First Century Fox, which for the period covered by the report includes News Corporation, has 117 subsidiaries, including 25 in the Virgin Islands and 19 in Mauritius.
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Firms accused of tax dodges