The Business Council welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to the consultation on the exposure draft for public country-by-country (CbC) reporting.
All companies must meet their tax obligations and where arrangements do not keep pace with community norms, they should be reviewed.
The BCA strongly believes all companies and individuals must meet their tax and legal obligations, and will continue to actively encourage member companies to adopt the Tax Transparency Code.
Robust tax integrity and transparency measures are an integral complement to more competitive business tax arrangements.
Australia has some of the strongest tax integrity rules in the world, and they have been strengthened over time. Existing integrity measures, institutions and enforcement all contribute towards and complement a high level of compliance with our tax system.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is a strong, capable, active and well‑resourced administrator, with extensive powers and a strict interest and penalty regime.
The ATO workforce focused on large companies is “larger and more skilled than it has ever been”, and it has one-to-one engagement with large companies for assurance over approximately two-thirds of all corporate tax (over $60 billion).
The proposed changes will significantly expand tax transparency requirements for large companies operating in Australia.
The BCA has previously proposed that tax transparency disclosures be guided by a set of principles.
This ensures stakeholders are better informed through meaningful data, commercial confidentiality is maintained, compliance costs are minimised and there is consistency with international reporting obligations is preserved.
The proposed changes fail to align with these principles.