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Aussies get in on the tax avoidance action

Australia’s no stranger to multinationals getting away with murder when it comes to tax avoidance, leading the country to take charge of the situation.

Here’s some welcome news for anyone who’s tired of watching multinational corporations funnel their ill-gotten gains overseas whilst contractors and freelancers get hammered by the taxman as targets of opportunity: the Australian government has had it up to here with offshore account shenanigans and is entering into a multilateral agreement to share tax information with at least five other sovereign nations.

The international anti tax avoidance scheme started last year as a pilot programme, according to Australian tax commissioner Chris Jordan, who said in a recent interview that he has high hopes that this sort of thing will be come standardised across as many countries as possible, as this will help to eliminate tax shelters for disreputable multinationals looking to get out of paying their fair share in tax revenues to their local authority.

If you ask me, I’m absolutely all for an international approach to stamping out tax avoidance and tax evasion, especially since it will give tax authorities like Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs something to do besides persecute the self-employed. HMRC often has nothing else to do but go after home-grown contractors and freelancers when it comes to missing or unpaid tax revenues, especially since its hands are tied by the largest perpetrators of tax avoidance funneling their cash overseas and out of the taxman’s reach, but with every nation that signs on to this new information sharing scheme or one similar to it means one less place for these bastards to hide their billions in profits in the future.

Of course the one drawback to this plan is that if even one country fails to engage with the others, there’s little that can be done to prevent businesses from flocking to that country in droves to escape the tax investigation dragnet. I’m sure that with enough political pressure being exerted upon any holdouts that they will capitulate sooner or later, but until then there’s not going to be any way to reliably stamp out tax avoidance through the use of overseas tax shelters just yet.

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