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Corporate tax avoidance part I: You cannot tax what you cannot see

Governance Corporate social responsibility Taxation Tax evasion Business ethics Australia
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This interim report summarises the findings of the Senate Inquiry into corporate tax avoidance and aggressive minimisation, after holding five public hearings and receiving more than one hundred submissions. Given both the public interest and new issues that have been raised over the course of the inquiry, it will continue through the latter half of the year with a provisional final reporting date of 30 November 2015.

This interim report makes 17 recommendations over four areas:

• evidence of tax avoidance and aggressive minimisation;

• multilateral efforts to combat tax avoidance and aggressive minimisation;

• potential areas of unilateral action to protect Australia's revenue base; and

• the capacity of Australian government agencies to collect corporate taxes.

It is expected that the final report will focus primarily on transfer pricing and profit shifting, with a secondary focus on:

• excessive debt loading;

• foreign companies avoiding permanent establishment in Australia;

• the use of tax havens;

• exemptions from general purpose accounting; and

• the role of private accounting firms in tax avoidance.

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