Foreign companies shirking their Australian tax bill could be forced to sell local assets, the Federal government has proposed.
The revamped requirements, to be introduced into parliament on Monday, would force multinational companies to disclose more details to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).
In a statement, Treasurer Scott Morrison said he would intervene if companies failed to hand over their fair share of tax.
“Where companies fail to do so I will have powers to take action, including ordering divestment of Australian assets,” Mr Morrison said.
“The Turnbull Government is absolutely committed to ensuring that investors into Australia are forced to pay the required amount of tax.”
Companies would be compelled to advise the tax office if investors entered into any transactions with non-residents to which transfer pricing or anti-avoidance measures of Australian tax law apply.
Additional conditions could also be applied if there was a significant tax risk.
A breach of conditions could also result in prosecution and fines, and were an escalation of the already strengthened framework the Government had in place.
A new agricultural land foreign ownership register and reduction of the screening threshold for proposed foreign purchases of agricultural land by private investors to $15 million, will also be introduced.
Former ASIO Director General David Irvine will be appointed to the FIRB, while there will be forced divestment of 27 properties, worth more than $76 million, “illegally” acquired by foreign nationals.
Last year, the Senate heard Apple paid $80 million tax on Australian sales of $6 billion in 2013.
In 2013 Google paid Australian tax of $7m on $46m profit but $2bn worth of local advertising revenue was booked overseas.
– with ABC