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Wickenby information sharing and broader tax secrecy review.



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NO.091

WICKENBY INFORMATION SHARING AND BROADER TAX SECRECY REVIEW

New legislation to be introduced in Parliament will help agencies involved in Project Wickenby to better share

information to aid concerted law enforcement.

The Treasurer, Peter Costello, and Minister for Revenue, Peter Dutton, today said enhanced sharing of information

between the Project Wickenby agencies will assist in the pursuit of those allegedly involved in tax avoidance or evasion,

highlighting the Government’s resolve to defend the integrity of the Australian tax system.

Project Wickenby is a multi-agency taskforce investigating internationally promoted tax arrangements allegedly involving

tax avoidance or evasion, and in some cases large-scale money-laundering. It combines, for the first time, the expertise of

the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Securities

and Investments Commission and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, supported by AUSTRAC, the

Attorney-General’s Department and the Australian Government Solicitor, to deal with large scale tax avoidance and

evasion.

In addition to this first step, there will be a larger project to improve the laws that protect taxpayer information and allow

disclosures to help deliver entitlements and meet law enforcement and integrity provisions.

In this regard, the Treasurer today announced the release of a Treasury discussion paper on the Review of Taxation

Secrecy and Disclosure Provisions.

This paper looks across all the existing tax secrecy and disclosure provisions from around 30 tax Acts, and proposes to

standardise the provisions into a new framework in a single piece of legislation. This will provide increased certainty for

taxpayers, tax officials and users of tax information, such as government departments and agencies.

This initiative is another example of the Australian Government’s determination to reduce the complexity and volume of

Australia’s tax laws.

The discussion paper also identifies a number of possible new disclosures for further consideration.

The Government is seeking submissions from interested parties on the proposals and issues set out in the discussion paper.

Submissions should be sent by 29 September 2006 to:

Review of Taxation Secrecy and Disclosure Provisions

Tax System Review Division

The Treasury

Langton Crescent

PARKES ACT 2600

Submissions can also be emailed to: taxationsecrecy@treasury.gov.au.

Copies of the paper are available from the Treasury website http://www.treasury.gov.au. They can also be obtained from

the review team, telephone 02 6263 3154.

CANBERRA

17 August 2006

Contact:

Renae Stoikos - Treasurer’s office - 02 6277 7340

Brad Emery - Minister for Revenue & Assistant Treasurer’s office - 02 6277 7360

© Commonwealth of Australia 2000