12 May 2015

Voluntary Corporate Disclosure Code


This media release discusses the Voluntary Corporate Disclosure Code.

The 2015 Budget is part of the Commonwealth Government’s plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.

The Budget contains new measures and penalties to ensure that large multinational companies pay their fair share of tax.

The government is continuing to work with tax authorities here and around the world to stop companies using contrived arrangements to avoid paying the right amount of tax.

We are committed to greater transparency in the commercial dealings of large multinationals to prevent tax avoidance through tax loopholes and profit shifting.

In addition the Government will work with businesses to develop a code on greater public disclosure of tax information by large corporates.

The voluntary code will highlight companies that are paying their fair share of tax. It will also discourage companies from engaging in aggressive tax avoidance.

I have written to the Board of Taxation asking them to lead the development of this transparency code.

The Board of Taxation will provide a business and broader community perspective to the development of a voluntary corporate disclosure code.

The Government would like more companies, particularly large multinationals operating in Australia, to publicly disclose their tax affairs. In developing the code they will need to consider what information is disclosed and how it is disclosed.

Some Australian companies are already leading the way, by voluntarily disclosing taxation information to the community.

As listed entities, Australian and overseas corporates have strong public disclosure obligations. We want to encourage greater compliance and support for our taxation system and the government is conscious of maintaining our voluntary, self-assessment taxation system.

The government will monitor progress and evaluate the results of the voluntary code process and will consider further changes to the law if required.