Filter by December, 2014

The UK ‘Google Tax’: a model for Australia to follow?

The Treasurer has recently foreshadowed the introduction of specific tax arrangements modelled on the UK’s recently announced Diverted Profits Tax (DPT) which has been referred to as the Google Tax. Background Recently a number of countries, including Australia, have focused their tax policy on tax avoidance by multinational companies operating in their territory. This follows substantial work undertaken by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in this area, several inquiries by national Parliaments, a non-government organisation report on Australian companies’ use of tax havens and increased amounts of public comment stemming from the work ... Read more...

Senate inquiry into corporate tax avoidance

In October, the Senate referred an inquiry into corporate tax avoidance (the Inquiry) to the Senate Economic References Committee (the Committee).  The Inquiry will examine tax avoidance and aggressive minimisation by multinational companies operating in Australia.  Public submissions close on 2 February 2015, and the Committee will report in June 2015. Read more...

Minister reports to Parliament on processing arrangements in Nauru and PNG for 2013—14

On 4 December 2014, the last scheduled parliamentary sitting day for the year, a report was tabled in Parliament on the regional processing arrangements for unauthorised maritime arrivals. The Minister’s report covers arrangements made during the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014. The statutory obligation to produce such a report comes from section 198AJ of the Migration Act which was inserted by the former Government to give effect to a recommendation of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee. The Committee considered that ‘a comprehensive reporting requirement would be desirable, to ensure transparency and accountability in relation to regional processing arrang... Read more...

‘Diplomatic terrorism’: Palestinian statehood, the United Nations, and Australia’s voting record

The issue of Palestinian statehood is once again before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). In September 2011, the Palestinian Authority submitted an application for full UN membership. Needing UNSC approval for such a bid, the application was eventually withdrawn or not fully pursued, under the public threat of a US veto. Now, with a new application possible, a look back at Australia’s voting record on this issue provides some hints as to how Australia might vote if an application for Palestinian United Nations membership is made before 31 December. Read more...

As long as a piece of string—costing data retention

With the introduction of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014 at the end of October and the release of the draft data set, the Government’s proposed data retention scheme is finally beginning to take shape.  However, a significant remaining unknown is the cost of the scheme and how it will be paid.  Read more...

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