The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) expects to conclude tax audits of at least seven major multinational firms by June 30, likely assessing combined tax liabilities in excess of AUS $2 billion (~USD 1.5 billion), Taxation Commissioner Chris Jordan said March 16.
The audits involve four multinational firms in the e-commerce sector and three in the energy and resource industries.
“Some might be expected to be settled by the companies and some may go to litigation,” said Jordan, who spoke at the 32nd National Convention of the Tax Institute.
Jordan said the audits are the product work conducted by the ATO’s Tax Avoidance Taskforce, set up last year to enhance tax compliance programs targeting multinationals, other large groups, and high net-worth individuals.
The task force currently has 71 audits underway in the large business sector involving 59 multinational corporations, he said.
It has been engaging with hundreds of multinationals that have activities that potentially fall within the ambit of Australia’s new Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL) to assist the companies transition into compliance, Jordan said.
He added that that he is seeing “an encouraging change in approach with clients reaching out to us to make changes to be more compliant.”