Australia unveils minimum 15% tax rate for multinationals

By AFP   March 20, 2024 | 11:18 pm PT
Australia unveiled plans for a minimum tax of 15% on multinationals Thursday, a move government said would make big businesses operating in the resource-rich nation "pay their fair share."

"Multinational companies making a profit in Australia should pay tax on those profits in Australia," Treasurer Jim Chalmers said as he unveiled draft legislation that the government hopes to pass by July.

The new rules had already been flagged, but the legislation could have a significant impact on the world's largest mining and energy companies, and is likely to face opposition from powerful industry lobbies.

They build on a global effort to stop big companies from tax jurisdiction shopping.

More than 140 countries agreed at the end of 2021 to impose a minimum tax on multinational companies under the auspices of the OECD.

Australia is one of the world's largest exporters of coal and gas, and the largest producer of iron ore -- a mineral that is essential for making steel.

It is also home to vast deposits of nickel, uranium and various rare earth minerals.

Despite high nominal corporate tax rates of 30%, campaigners have argued that companies actually pay much less, and in some cases close to zero.

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