Tougher company tax laws would simply encourage multi-nationals offshore, meaning Australia would miss out on tens – even hundreds – of dollars in tax receipts, experts have warned.
Business Council of Australia spokesperson John Bradley said that while it was likely companies would continue to operate in Australia in order to make money from us, there was a real risk they would take their tax liabilities elsewhere.
“That $0 that Chevron paid in tax last year? You can kiss that goodbye if the laws change,” Bradley said. “That’s $0 less for roads, $0 less for hospitals, and $0 less for schools. So critics need to think very carefully before making rash statements about all this”.
He said many regular people didn’t appreciate the complexities behind why 88% of Australia’s top companies paid less than 5% tax. “It’s very, very complex. There are expenses, and incomes, and offsets, and lots of other complex things that you probably wouldn’t understand,” he said.