Crackdown delivers tax windfall

Original article by Ben Butler
The Australian – Page: 19 & 22 : 14-Dec-18

Woodside Petroleum and Roy Hill Holdings are among 722 large companies that did not pay any tax in 2016-17. Large corporations paid a combined total of $45.7bn in taxes during the financial year, compared with $38.2bn previously. The Commonwealth Bank and BHP paid the most tax, at $3.9bn and $3.27bn respectively. The federal government’s corporate tax revenue was bolstered by factors such as a rise in commodity prices and the impact of its Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law, which has targeted global technology companies in particular.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, ROY HILL HOLDINGS PTY LTD, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, HANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LTD, BAE SYSTEMS AUSTRALIA LIMITED, ROCKPOOL DINING GROUP, TAX JUSTICE NETWORK, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Labor’s spending plans could hit a wall

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 13-Dec-18

Labor plans to increase tax revenue by about $30bn over four years if it wins the 2019 federal election, and by nearly $280bn over a decade. However, the majority of Senate crossbenchers oppose Labor’s key tax policy initiatives, including its negative gearing reforms and the abolition of cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits. Analysis suggests that Labor’s tax revenue would be up to $19bn lower than forecast if the Senate were to reject its key tax measures.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE, ONE NATION PARTY, AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATIVES, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Labor’s tax grab faces Senate block

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 12-Dec-18

Labor may not have sufficient support in the Senate for its proposal to abolish cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits if it wins the 2019 federal election. Labor would require the support of the Greens and four crossbenchers to pass the reforms before the current Senate is dissolved on 30 June. However, nine of the 10 crossbenchers oppose the policy, with Fraser Anning describing it as a "socialist retiree tax". In addition, none of the current senators support Labor’s proposal to restrict negative gearing to new homes, although some favour capping the number of properties that can be negatively geared.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, ONE NATION PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE

Boosted powers, travel ban plan to cut avoidance

Original article by Emma Koehn
The Age – Page: 25 : 27-Nov-18

A recent Treasury discussion paper flagged measures aimed at those who avoid tax as part of a crackdown on the black economy. These include imposing overseas travel bans on persons with outstanding tax obligations, as well as giving the Australian Taxation Office the power to access telecommunications data and third-party information such as bank accounts. Submissions to Treasury concerning the discussion paper can be made until 21 December.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, BDO AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Labor’s franking policy would cost economy

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 22-Nov-18

Liberal MP Tim Wilson has warned that many retirees would lose up to a third of their income under Labor’s plan to abolish cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits. Meanwhile, the Grattan Institute has noted in its submission to a parliamentary inquiry that there would be some cost to the economy if Labor’s policy is implemented. However, the think tank has concluded that the policy may be the best option.

CORPORATES
LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, GRATTAN INSTITUTE

ALP’s tax hike would strangle economic growth

Original article by Adam Creighton, Michael Roche
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 14-Nov-18

Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics expects Labor to win the next federal election, and he warns that the party’s proposed tax and regulatory reforms will result in slower economic growth over the next several years. The economist also expects growth in consumption to slow under a Labor government, while the Australian dollar could also fall sharply. Labor plans to increase taxes by $34bn over two years if it wins the election.

CORPORATES
CAPITAL ECONOMICS LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, IFM INVESTORS PTY LTD

PRRT changes may hold up oil and gas projects

Original article by Matt Chambers
The Australian – Page: 20 : 7-Nov-18

Macquarie Group expects Woodside Petroleum to be affected the most by the federal government’s changes to the petroleum resource rent tax’s uplift rate. Meanwhile, Saul Kavonic of Credit Suisse warns that the review of the PRRT’s transfer pricing rules is a greater material risk to the value of existing LNG plants than the increase in the uplift rate, due to the potential for any changes to be retrospective. Macquarie has also cautioned that the transfer pricing review – which is slated to take 12-18 months – could result in delays to oil and gas projects and impact on the sector’s future earnings.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO

Bond investors like Labor’s franking cut

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 7-Nov-18

The Federal Opposition’s plan to abolish cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits if it wins the next election has widespread support among bond fund managers. Elizabeth Moran of FIIG Securities says the dividend imputation system has prompted many investors to be highly exposed to risker asset classes; she notes that while bonds offer lower yields, they also offer less volatility. Australian Securitisation Forum CEO Chris Dalton agrees that Labor’s policy will make bonds more attractive to investors.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, FIIG SECURITIES LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN SECURITISATION FORUM, REALM INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, ALTIUS ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, PLATO INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN STOCK REPORT LIMITED, ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT

Miners fear tax grab by Labor government

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 1-Nov-18

Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland has warned that the South Africa-based miner may reconsider future investment in Australia if a change of federal government results in an increase in the sector’s royalties and taxes. Gold Fields has a 50 per cent stake in the Gruyere gold project in Western Australia, while its other local assets include the St Ives, Granny Smith and Darlot gold mines. Meanwhile, Fortescue Metals Group CEO says mining companies need policy certainty to continue investing in Australia rather than offshore.

CORPORATES
GOLD FIELDS LIMITED, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, GOLD ROAD RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX GOR

UK-style digital tax may hit local media

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 21 : 31-Oct-18

Britain’s proposed digital services tax is primarily aimed at US-based technology companies, but experts suggest that traditional Australian media companies and online classifieds groups could be hit if the federal government introduces a similar tax. News Corp Australia, Fairfax Media, Seek, Domain and Carsales.com are among the local companies that could potentially be affected by any move to impose a digital services tax. The government will shortly release a discussion paper on the issue.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED – ASX FXJ, SEEK LIMITED – ASX SEK, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, CARSALES.COM LIMITED – ASX CAR, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, GREAT BRITAIN. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, ERNST AND YOUNG, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION