THE DISTILLERY: Budget stuffing

One commentator shows just how creative Canberra is becoming with corporate tax in its quest for a budget surplus.

Treasurer Wayne Swan’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook demonstrated, if anything, that in order to bring the budget back into surplus the government is willing to muster some creativity. But while the MYEFO is a clinic in short-termism, Labor’s efforts to increase the Australian Taxation Office’s take from corporate Australia have been apparent almost since they won office in 2007. The Age’s Adele Ferguson shows just how creative the government is getting on corporate tax revenue, with the ATO piloting a program that would effectively ask corporations to ‘out’ themselves when uncertainty arises internally about a taxation matter. Regardless of what happens, Australia’s corporate tax take should remain reasonably healthy, particularly, as one business writer explains, from Rio Tinto.

We start Monday’s Distillery with The Age’s Adele Ferguson, who explains how the government is using a number of strategies to fill the hole in the budget.



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