Corporate tax in Australia a joke

It’s no surprise that Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce is a big fan of the Government’s proposed corporate tax cuts, even though he runs an Australian company that hasn’t paid any tax in years.

In fact, not one of Australia’s largest carriers has paid any tax since at least 2013. One in five of Australia’s biggest companies haven’t paid tax for at least three years.

ABC’s Chief Economic Correspondent Emma Alberici reported that Australia’s already generous corporate tax regime means that companies can receive tax concessions, depreciation provisions and are able to offset past losses with past and future profits indefinitely.

Power prices have soared, yet most of the energy sector’s companies have avoided paying any tax for years despite making vast profits. Same goes for banks and other financial institutions.

Then there are those that shift profits overseas to take advantage of lower taxes and avoid paying their share in Australia.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp has recorded massive turnover and yet, has also paid zero tax in four years. News Corp’s rival Fairfax has paid $53.1 million in the same time. To add insult to injury, in the last budget, the Government actually gave News Corp $30 million to improve sports coverage.

View the table of Total income and company tax paid in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.

So why is the Government considering further tax cuts for hundreds of corporations that pay no tax?

The short answer is: it shouldn’t be.

It would be better served focusing on Treasurer Scott Morrison’s Tax Avoidance Taskforce, to which it has committed almost $680 million over the next four years to fight corporate tax avoidance.

If the Government applied the same vigour to chasing the hundreds of millions – possibly billions – being kept in corporate pockets as it does chasing down potential welfare frauds, the economy would be far better off.

Read more at ABC

Should the money for Mr Morrison’s task force be coming from Aussie taxpayer pockets? Should the onus be on the corporations who’ve avoided paying tax? Are corporate tax cuts the answer to boosting our economy?

Related articles:
Backlash over proposed tax cuts
Bernie Fraser: company tax cuts not the answer
Aussies reject company tax cuts

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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