Australia Identifies Over 1000 Taxpayers Based On Paradise Papers

Since last November when the Paradise Papers were released, the information leak has enabled Australia Taxation Office (ATO) to identify 1075 taxpayers in total during the past two months, with 731 individual taxpayers and 344 corporate entities respectively.

Commoditization of Tax Avoidance Practice for Individuals

The ATO finds there are more to learn about the identified individual taxpayers presently, but the information derived from the Paradise Papers indicates that to a certain extent, intermediaries including banks, law firms, and accountants have commoditised the tax avoidance practice, according to Mark Konza, deputy commissioner at the Australian Taxation Office. “The Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers led us to think about, well, what’s happening with these intermediaries that are encouraging this type of behaviour?”, Konza added. Regions such as Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean, or Asia and the Pacific Ocean are the favours of tax specialist intermediaries who provide a tax advice “package” to individuals for circumventing taxes as if providing holiday packages.

Large Networks of Corporate Tax Planning Start to Emerge

The ATO is trying to cross-match data derived from the recent Paradise Papers with the earlier Panama Papers, increasingly extracting information of significant importance. The ATO noticed that since the global financial crisis, there was a round of mergers and acquisitions in the offshore provider. For example, “one company we know has offices in 46 jurisdictions around the world, through constant merger and acquisition activity”, Konza said. With more offshore service provider re-concealed, light is shed on some large networks of corporate tax planning.

Sources: the Guardian, ICIJ

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