Words by: Zac Duggan
Image credit: taxjustice.org.au
Still an issue:
Figures reported in October last year by the Tax Justice Network and United Voice show that 200 of Australia’s top companies paid an average of 19.3 percent tax on profits. The independent review of tax avoidance shows companies amongst the the ASX 200 contributed $44.7 billion in 2013-14.
This figure would have been $69.5 billion if they paid at the 30 per cent rate that is written in law. The actual corporate tax rate is 30 per cent of profits, however it’s suspected certain companies are utilising tax havens and taking advantage of a government turning a blind eye to blatant tax evasion.
According to the report, a third of Australian companies – for example James Hardie and Downer EDI -are paying less than 10 percent company tax.
Meanwhile an Australian on average weekly earnings pays an effective tax of 22.7 per cent of their income, according to a release by Joe Hockey.
According to figures acquired by the Sydney Morning Herald, companies under the Murdoch umbrella have paid an income tax equivalent of 4.8 percent. Most shocking is that these figures suggest News Corp has siphoned off $4.5 billion in the last two years from Australian media businesses into the New York parent company through an array of shares and dividends.
I know a lot of broke students living on a diet of Fruity Lexia and Mi Goreng that pay a much higher tax rate than Murdoch whose wealth is estimated by Forbes at $13.7 billion dollars. While the government continues to scheme up new ways of “tightening the belt” by scrapping vital services and creating inequality, maybe we could just tax the companies that are taking billions of dollars of profits from our resources offshore.