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Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Page: 2399

Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate, Minister for Communications and Minister for the Arts) (18:47): I assume this is in the context of your earlier contribution where you were talking about the concept of a 'turnover tax'—I think that was how you phrased it. I will just make the general point that modelling of tax measures is something that, if it were to be done, would be done in the Treasury portfolio. What I can tell you is what the government, through the Treasury portfolio, has done to ensure the protection and the enhancement of our revenue base.

We are as one with you, I am sure, in believing that multinational companies operating in Australia should pay their fair share of tax. To this end, the government has pursued a number of measures to ensure the companies pay their proper share of tax. Firstly, the multinational anti-avoidance law, which commenced operation on 1 January this year, is designed to capture companies that seek to avoid a taxable presence in Australia. Secondly, the diverted profits tax announced in the 2016-17 budget and scheduled to commence from 1 July next year is designed to stop multinationals artificially diverting profits from Australia to another country. And, thirdly, extending the GST to cover digital products and services imported from overseas, noting, of course, as we do federally, all of this revenue flows to the states and territories.

By the by, I should point out that the financial impact of these measures is already accounted for in the budget bottom line and there are a number of other things that the government is seeking to pursue. The government is very much of the view that multinationals should pay their fair share of tax when they operate in Australia. The government has already taken and is in the process of taking further measures.