Jozef Imrich, name worthy of Kafka, has his finger on the pulse of any irony of interest and shares his findings to keep you in-the-know with the savviest trend setters and infomaniacs.
''I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.''
Nine of the biggest drug companies in the world had $8 billion in
Australian revenue but paid just $85 million in tax last year, an
inquiry has heard.
During a public hearing in Sydney on (Wednesday),
members of a senate economics committee accused global pharmaceutical
companies of shifting profits generated in Australia to low-tax
jurisdictions offshore - the same charge levelled at technology
companies. Pharmaceutical companies pay just $85 million tax on $8 billion revenue
Pharmaceutical companies insist they pay the right amount of tax but have provided few details of the dollars involved ahead of a public hearing on tax avoidance on Wednesday
Representatives of nine companies, including household names Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, will appear before a senate economics committee in Sydney. Pfizer Australia says it has an effective tax rate on underlying profit that is "consistently above Australia's corporate tax rate of 30 per cent". "Pfizer Australia's practices have been subject to rigorous review and have not resulted in any disputes with the [Australian Tax Office] or adjustments to the tax filings," managing director David Gallagher said in a written submission to the committee ahead of his appearance on Wednesday.
The Australian taxation system is not designed to simply and fairly tax multinational corporations ("Big pharma defend their tax payments ahead of hearing", AFR,
June 30). Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan concludes "Transfer pricing is
ultimately trying to shift profit out of Australia either in the pricing
of the products or the size of the royalty regarding the intellectual
property". Related party loans and interest rates create similar
problems. Arguments, objections and appeals over individual tax cases
continue for years – all unproductive, uncertain, expensive, time
consuming, frustrating and not necessarily creating precedents.
If the Tax Commissioner
is to do his job competently and with a high degree of
certainty then the tax system needs an overhaul so that multinational
corporations are taxed in an efficient and equitable manner.
Applying easily determined benchmark turnover taxes to the Australian
generated revenues of multinational corporations is the only sensible
Graeme Troy AFR letters