Archive for 'Tax avoidance'
Labor’s tax avoidance crack down statement was the old pea and thimble trick. It wants to give the impression of doing something about big business tax avoidance (always a popular issue among ordinary workers) without really frightening the big business horses. Pathetic is the word that comes to mind.
The next time the Treasurer tells you he has to cut pensions, aboriginal services, women’s refuges, health or education funding, ask him why he doesn’t shut down the section 25-90 rort and use the $600 million a year on something socially useful. What about it Mr Hockey? This of course is the same Mr Hockey happy to see Chris Jordan, the former NSW manager of major tax avoidance ‘planning’ firm, KPMG, and current Commissioner of Taxation, destroy the Australian Tax Office and its already meagre capacity to police the rich and powerful tax avoiders and evaders. Regulatory capture is the word I think we are searching for here, Mr Hockey.
The outcome of neoliberal policy since 1983, when Hawke Labor began implementing it and laid out the red carpet for Howard and then Abbott, has been a massive shift in wealth in Australia from labour to capital. The process of neoliberal regulatory capture in tax policy and tax law has now, if Second Commissioner Mills’ speech is any indication, also successfully infected the administration of the Australian Tax Office. All the sweet words in the world will not disguise the fact that the fox is now in charge of the revenue hen house.
When announcing that the Abbott government wouldn’t go ahead with the repeal of section 25-90, Hockey said they would introduce more targeted changes to address the issue. They abandoned even this pretence in Monday’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. Evidently it would be impractical to go ahead with any changes. Impractical for whom Mr Hockey? Your rich and powerful tax avoiding mates.
I have a simple question for the Treasurer. Why don’t you tell us what the ATO thinks about section 25-90?
Joe Hockey is the best friend the big business tax avoiders have.
My letter today to the Australian Financial Review John Without seeing the detail of the so-called ‘Google tax’, as a former Assistant Commissioner of Taxation in the international area of the ATO it appears to me there is one possibly insurmountable problem, Australia’s double tax agreement with Singapore. (Phillip Coorey and Fleur Anderson, ‘Treasurer poised […]
I have an article on tax avoidance and the G20 in Green Left Weekly. Here is how I finish it up: The best way to address the shift in wealth from labour to capital is not through the tax system but through fighting for big real wage increases. Our task should be to help build […]
Me in the Conversation today on tax avoidance: Tax haven crackdown still to deliver missing billions
A link to speaking notes on the G20 and tax avoidance: Fighting the One Percent for Tax Justice and Equity
Passant, John, Tax Avoidance and the G20: Fighting the One Percent for Tax Justice and Equity (November 4, 2014). Available at SSRN here. To view the whole paper hit the download button in the middle of the page or thereabouts.
These are the speaking notes I wrote for a talk at a conference on the G20 and tackling tax avoidance organised by Political Economy students at Sydney Uni, Action Aid and Green Left Weekly. They bear some vague resemblance to what I said in the 20 minutes I had. I finish off with: The protests against the parasites of the G20 in November in Brisbane should be one focus. Tax the rich is a slogan we can take to those protests. Real tax change won’t come from the politicians of the one percent. It has to come from us mobilising along with the mass of people for such change as part of a wider campaigns for equity and justice economically and politically. Fighting for tax justice can be and has to be part of that national and international struggle.
Far better from Hockey’s point of view that we pay $7 to doctors than that his mates pay even $7 in tax.