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Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Page: 4125

Taxation


Senator PATERSON (Victoria) (14:05): My question is to the Minister representing the Treasurer, Senator Cormann. Can the minister please update the Senate on what has happened to company tax revenues since the government legislated the first stage of its enterprise tax plan?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State and Vice-President of the Executive Council) (14:06): I thank Senator Paterson for that very important question. This morning I released the Australian government Monthly Financial Statements for the 2017-18 financial year to the end of May 2018. They show that revenue from company tax this financial year has increased by another $1.1 billion since the most recent budget was released only last month. This means that, since the Senate passed the first three years of our Ten Year Enterprise Tax Plan, revenue from company tax, just for this financial year, has increased by $9.2 billion—that's right. So, at the 2016-17 half-yearly budget update, which was the first one after the 2016 election and the last one before the Senate passed the first three years of our Ten Year Enterprise Tax Plan, the expectation was that businesses would pay $78.6 billion in company tax revenue in 2017-18. Based on the official numbers, on actual revenue collections to the end of May 2018, one month out from the end of the 2017-18 financial year we are now expecting company tax revenue to come in at $87.8 billion. That's right: $9.2 billion more than estimated at the 2016-17 MYEFO. And of course to the end of May 2018, these are actual numbers—actual numbers.

This demonstrates that the government's plan for a stronger economy, for more jobs and to repair the budget is working. The reason we're collecting more revenue is stronger growth, higher than assumed commodity prices and strong multinational anti-avoidance measures and tax enforcement action. Not only do lower taxes help Australian businesses to employ more workers but also more-profitable businesses pay more tax, which helps Australian families to get ahead and helps the government to fund the important and essential services that Australians expect their government to provide.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Paterson, a supplementary question.



Senator PATERSON (Victoria) (14:08): Minister, what impact are the government's reforms that prevent multinational avoidance and profit shifting having on company tax paid in Australia?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State and Vice-President of the Executive Council) (14:08): The Australian government is continuing to take strong action to ensure that multinationals and all companies across Australia pay the right amount of tax. The evidence is that these measures are working. The establishment of a Tax Avoidance Taskforce within the ATO, along with the ATO's cross-border compliance activities, has resulted in $2.7 billion being clawed back from multinational companies operating in Australia. The government's actions to broaden the scope of large multinationals being subject to the multinational anti-avoidance law and diverted profits tax has resulted in 44 taxpayers bringing their Australian-sourced sales back onshore, which the ATO expects will result in an additional $7 billion in income being returned to the Australian taxpayers per annum. In addition, approximately $461 million in additional GST has been paid in 2017-18, to the end of May 2018, as a result of some global entities restructuring in response to the multinational anti-avoidance legislation we passed. A total of 318 multinational companies are now under active audit— (Time expired)

The PRESIDENT: Senator Paterson, a final supplementary question.



Senator PATERSON (Victoria) (14:09): What would the impact be of increasing taxes on business?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State and Vice-President of the Executive Council) (14:09): Higher taxes on business will mean fewer jobs and lower wages. Mr Shorten stands for higher taxes, less investment, lower growth, fewer jobs, higher unemployment and lower wages. That is what they delivered when they were last in government and that is what they want to inflict on the Australian people again. The government want Australian families today and into the future to have the best possible opportunity to get ahead. That is why we want to ensure that the businesses that employ them have the best possible opportunity to be competitive, viable and profitable into the future, and that is why we stand for a lower, globally-more-competitive business tax rate. It is all about making sure that working families across Australia have the best possible opportunity to get ahead and to be successful.