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A thank-you message to all those who have supported the initiative of the Tax Justice Network (Australia).

from Cath James, 13th August 2013.

As a supporter of the Tax Justice Network Australia, I want to thank you for your commitment to stopping multinational corporate tax dodging and ensuring governments, especially in developing countries, are able to get the tax revenues they need to provide basic services for their people.

With your support, the global movement for tax justice has made huge progress this year. Here are some of the highlights:

Calls for automatic information exchange
In April the G20 Finance Ministers, which includes Australia, called for tax related information to be automatically exchanged between tax authorities and for this to become the new global norm. They also called for more work to be done on revealing who the real owners are of companies and trusts to stop people being able to use shell companies to conceal any dodgy dealings. This would help stop money laundering, tax evasion and financing of terrorism.

Proposal for Tax Inspectors Without Borders
The OECD has promoted its proposal for a Tax Inspectors Without Borders program to help developing countries with curbing tax dodging.

Crack down on tax dodging in Australia
In June the Australian Senate passed two pieces of law to deal with tax dodging by multinational companies. The new laws:
• tighten the rules around transactions between different parts of the same multinational company that can be misused to shift profits to tax havens and escape being taxed in Australia
• plug loopholes in the General Anti-Avoidance Rule to make it harder for companies and individuals to enter into tax avoidance schemes,
• allow the tax payable by multinational companies with revenue greater than $100 million to be published by the Australian Taxation Office; and
• tighten up capital gains tax rules for foreigners investing in Australia.Whistle-blower protection
The Senate also passed laws to provide greater protection to whistleblowers in the public sector. While not likely to have much impact on addressing tax dodging, this step helps us get closer to having laws that will protect and reward whistleblowers in the private sector that expose tax evasion and tax avoidance.

Coordinated global action on tax dodging
The OECD has just released an action plan for global action to curb multinational corporate tax dodging. The plan is a good step forward, but pressure will be needed to ensure developing countries benefit from the combined action.

Thanks again for your ongoing support. Here’s to more progress in the weeks and months ahead!

Cath James on behalf of the Tax Justice Network

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