Major 'shape-shifting' companies may face Australian tax

STARBUCKS, Google, Apple, eBay and other ''shape-shifting'' corporations that route their business through intermediaries in tax havens may soon face an Australian tax from which other corporations will be exempt.

The idea will be discussed at a special reference group set up to advise Treasury on a scoping paper setting out the extent of multinational tax minimisation and ways the Australian government responds.

The 14-member reference group is laden with critics of multinational tax practices, including ACTU assistant secretary Tim Lyons, Serena Lillywhite of Oxfam Australia, Jason Sharman of the Centre for Governance and Public Policy at Griffith University, Mark Zirnsak of the Uniting Church and Tax Justice Network, and Frank Drenth of the Corporate Tax Association.

Others appointed by Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury include the executive director of Treasury's revenue group, Rob Heferen, who will chair the group, Foreign Investment Review Board chairman Brian Wilson, former tax commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo and public policy specialist Greg Smith.

The only corporate representative is Ross Lyons, a tax executive at Rio Tinto.

Read more at Brisbane Times

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