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Following the UK lead?

20 July 2016

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Professor Miranda Stewart is Director of the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at Crawford School. She currently teaches the graduate course Public Finance (POGO8048).

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The politically charged issues of lowering Australia’s company tax rate and tax avoidance by large multinationals will be put under the microscope as experts come together at Crawford School today.

The Global Corporate Tax: Anti-abuse, Transparency and Co-operative Compliance event will hear from officials of the Australian Taxation Office and the Treasury, the community sector and big business.

Australia is taking its lead from the UK and the discussion will open with a talk about the UK diverted profits tax and controversial tax settlements with multinationals including Starbucks and Google. The UK has also cut its company tax rate dramatically over the last decade.

Professor Miranda Stewart, Director of the ANU Tax and Transfer Policy Institute, said that while Australia seemed enthusiastic in following the UK approach, there remained question marks over the policy.

“Australia has followed the UK in enacting multinational anti-abuse rules and these are already having an impact on business here, but we cannot build a sustainable business tax system on anti-avoidance rules,” Professor Stewart said.

“The challenge is how to build co-operative compliance by large business with the Tax Office in future.

“It is contested whether lowering the company tax rate is going to have a big economic impact in the UK.

“Australia’s projected tax cut to 25 per cent by 2026 looks mild by comparison – there seems no justification for Australia to follow the UK this far,” she said.

The event is organised by the ANU Tax and Transfer Policy Institute. Speakers include:

Professor Judith Freedman, Oxford University, Mr Andrew Mills, Second Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office, Ms Karen Payne, CEO of the Board of Taxation, Treasury, Ms Kelly Dent, Head of Public Policy and Advocacy, Oxfam Australia and Mr Chris Vanderkley, Director of Tax, GE Australia New Zealand.

Media are invited to attend.

Further information can be found here -

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