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Post-implementation Review of the Voluntary Tax Transparency Code

Background

As part of the 2015-16 Budget, the then Treasurer asked the Board to lead the development of a new voluntary code on greater public disclosure of tax information by businesses, particularly large multinationals. Over the following nine months, the Board developed the Voluntary Tax Transparency Code (the TTC) in conjunction with a working group made up of representatives from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Treasury, academia, businesses and professional firms. The Board completed its report to Government on 16 February 2016. On 3 May 2016, the Government released the Board’s final report on the TTC, and endorsed the TTC as part of the 2016-17 Budget announcements. Further information regarding the Board’s earlier work developing the TTC can be found on the Development of the Voluntary tax transparency code consultation page.

At the time of its development, the TTC was one of the most advanced and comprehensive tax transparency regimes in the world. Since its introduction, there have been developments both locally and globally in the tax transparency landscape. In 2018 the Board commenced a post implementation review of the TTC to gather feedback on the TTC and identify improvements in the context of global developments in the tax transparency landscape, with a focus on simplicity and usefulness of the disclosures. The timing of this review is also consistent with the Board’s recommendation in its original report that the TTC be reviewed after three years of operation.

Working Group

The Board established a Working Group to undertake the review. Board members Mr Michael Andrew AO (Chair), Mrs Ann-Maree Wolff, Ms Karen Payne and Mr Neville Mitchell were appointed to oversee this review.

The Working Group is assisted by representatives from the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Accounting Standards Board and the Department of the Treasury.

Consultation Paper

Initial consultation was held in August, September and October 2018 to collect feedback on the TTC from a range of stakeholders including business and industry groups, tax advisers, current signatories to the TTC, investor groups and financial analysts, and social justice groups.

On 26 February 2019, the Board released a Consultation Paper on proposed changes to the TTC developed by the Board following feedback at the earlier consultation sessions. The Board invites interested stakeholders to make submissions by 26 March 2019.

For further information about the Board’s work on the TTC, please contract taxboard@treasury.gov.au or on (02) 6263 4366.

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