The News Wrap: New ATO unit to tackle corporate tax dodging

The Australian Taxation Office has established a new unit to investigate corporate tax dodging by Australia’s biggest companies as it sets out to crack down on cheats and improve government revenue.

 

The unit will work with international partners to establish the purpose of Australian businesses in low-tax jurisdictions, The Age reports.

 

It will also look at whether highly profitable international companies in Australia, like Google or Apple, are avoiding Australian tax by moving profit centres overseas.

 

Infrastructure reform could boost economy by 3% a year: Infrastructure Australia

 

Infrastructure Australia will call on the federal government to create a single infrastructure fund as part of a reform blueprint aimed at making Australia a competitive player in the Asian Century.

 

The Australian reports the plan says Australia “cannot afford to invest in the wrong projects” and that only projects that generate positive economic returns should get taxpayer money.

 

Infrastructure Australia says if the reform is embraced there is no reason Australia cannot grow the economy by more than 3% a year and lift national productivity by more than 2%.

 

Mining services companies face loans risk

 

Mining services companies could be at risk of breaching loan agreements because of the slowdown in the mining industry, as listed drilling contractor Boart Longyear cut its earnings guidance for the second time in six weeks and negotiated relief over its financial obligations.

 

The Australian reports analysts noting that the sharp downturn in the market capitalisation and earnings in the mining services space and their debt obligations could see more companies in danger of breaching their debt covenants.

 

Moelis & Co executive director of Australian equities Adam Michell said the pain was being led by the gold sector, where the gold price has dropped to a level that will leave many mines in danger of becoming unprofitable.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.44% at 14,974.96 points. The Australian dollar is down 0.02% at US92.39 cents.

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