"The way companies do business is changing and we need to
ensure that international tax systems keep pace," said
The assistant treasurer has asked the Treasury to work on a
paper that will assess the risks to the sustainability of
Australia’s corporate tax base from multinational
companies’ tax minimisation techniques, as well as
identifying potential responses.
"This specialist reference group will feed into that
process, with Treasury drawing on members’
knowledge and expertise," said Bradbury.
The formation of a specialist group comes in the wake of a
raft of revelations about the amounts of corporation tax paid
by multinational companies in certain jurisdictions. For
example, Google, Amazon and Starbucks have all come under scrutiny in the UK in recent
Bradbury acknowledges that countries across the globe must
take action to keep up with increasingly more innovative tax
"Governments around the world need to re-examine many of the
key rules of international taxation, which are not keeping up
with the changing business models and tax planning arrangements
of many multinational companies," he said.
Bradbury also said a key role of the group will be to "build
community understanding of the nature of the challenges we
face". It will hold its first meeting in February 2013.
Rob Heferen (chairman), executive director of the
Treasury’s revenue group; Michael Bersten, partner
at PwC; Michael D’Ascenzo, commissioner of
taxation 2006-2012; Frank Drenth, executive director of the
Corporate Tax Association of Australia; Serena Lillywhite,
mining advocacy coordinator at OxFam Australia; Ross Lyons,
general manager, tax, Asia Pacific for Rio Tinto; Tim Lyons,
assistant secretary, ACTU; Peter Madden, partner at Deloitte;
Jason Sharman, director at Griffith University’s
Centre for Governance and Public Policy; Greg Smith, adjunct
professor at the Australian Catholic University and senior
fellow of the Melbourne Law Masters; Tony Stolarek, partner at
Ernst & Young; Niv Tadmore, partner at Clayton Utz; Brian
Wilson, chairman of the Foreign Investment Review Board; and
Mark Zirnsak, director of the Justice and International Mission
Unit, Uniting Church.