ATO takes action against multinationals after “Paradise Papers” … SA bank tax axing could increase payroll tax bills … NBN Co promises business “enhancements”


The Australian Taxation Office has reportedly taken action against 19 multinational businesses over concerns tax dollars are being pushed offshore.

A Four Corners and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ (ICIJ) report into the “Paradise Papers” — a leak of more than 13 million financial documents obtained by German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung this week — reveals the ATO is also looking into accounting practices at high-profile Australian advisory firms.

Concerns have been raised about cross-currency interest rate swaps and other practices that see businesses with subsidiaries using accounting practices to shift money into new tax jurisdictions, thus avoiding tax.

In a statement this morning, the ATO said it is already working with a number of other regulatory agencies and anticipating further data to be released by the ICIJ.

SA budget woes could wipe out payroll tax concessions

The Adelaide Advertiser reports small businesses in the state could lose out on a promise to lock in payroll tax concessions for small businesses if South Australia’s budget is blocked due to a voting down of the proposed “bank tax”.

Last week the state’s upper house threw out Labor’s budget policy to tax bank liabilities, throwing doubt on the success of the Budget Measures Bill.

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis says if the bill is blocked, more than 3000 businesses stand to receive bigger payroll tax bills than expected.

The budget bill contains a measure to lock in $9,800 in small business tax concessions into next year, and if it is not passed, the government says businesses stand to lose out on the planned concessions.

NBN Co promises “service updates” for business

The body responsible for the rollout of the nation’s national broadband network says it has created a team devoted to supporting Australian businesses, promising to introduce new services to help internet providers meet the demands of local businesses.

This includes a faster rollout of the “enterprise ethernet”, a wholesale direct fibre broadband product that NBN Co says will be on the market by the end of next year.

“As Australia continues to move to a service based economy, we want to enable innovation and help support large and enterprise businesses to take advantage of high-bandwidth applications to increase their productivity and reduce their bottom line,” John Simon, NBN Co’s chief customer officer for business, said in a statement.

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