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Wednesday, 11 November 2015
Page: 8241


Senator FIERRAVANTI-WELLS (New South WalesAssistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (10:02): The government has focused on ensuring that the Commissioner of Taxation has available to him all the powers that he needs to ensure that multinational companies pay taxes and pay the appropriate amount of tax. Senator Bushby, who I understand was part of that committee, also has indicated to me that one of the important things about preserving confidentiality—and I think the ATO also said this, although I am going on what Senator Bushby has indicated to me—is that it ensures that maximum tax is paid and provides confidence in the system. In a former life when I was at the Australian Government Solicitor, I did my fair share of acting for the Commissioner of Taxation. It is very important that the Commissioner of Taxation has available to him or her all the powers necessary to ensure that all taxpayers pay the appropriate amount of tax. I think that is a general principle, and it is a principle that applies irrespective of who the taxpayer is.