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Wednesday, 11 November 2015
Page: 8254

Senator WHISH-WILSON (Tasmania) (12:35): I want to ask the minister another direct question, and this is a very genuine question. I am not filibustering at all. It is a very genuine question. When we looked at the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (Better Targeting the Income Tax Transparency Laws) Bill it exempted Australian companies from a set of disclosure laws, but it kept—as the minister is aware—offshore companies under the same disclosure laws that were passed in 2013. Let me read this to you from the Parliamentary Library:

The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) (TAA 1953) to provide an additional threshold before the Commissioner of Taxation is obliged to publish information about a corporate tax entity with a total income equal to or exceeding $100 million for an income year. The additional threshold to be met must be one of three alternatives:

• the entity is not an Australian resident that is a private company or

• the entity is a member of a wholly-owned group that has a foreign resident ultimate holding company or

• the percentage of foreign shareholding in the entity is greater than 50 per cent.

So we, in this country, have a law at the moment that demands foreign companies with subsidiaries in Australia meet these disclosure requirements if they are worth over $100 million. My question is quite simple. Why did we exempt Australian companies? What was the logic behind cutting out Australian companies and individuals with a net worth of more than $100 million? Why do we keep it on offshore companies and exempt Australian companies?