The accounting trick that helps multinationals avoid paying tax

Roman Lanis, et al.
30 October 2015

Chevron Australia’s aggressive tax strategies have resulted in an additional $322 million tax bill, but this may only be the beginning of the energy giant’s woes with the Australian Taxation Office. And others could face the same headache.

The recent Federal Court decision suggests significant accounting disclosure implications for large subsidiaries of other multinational companies operating in Australia which have employed similar strategies, and there will be other revelations to follow.

The Chevron issue involves an accounting measure that is commonly used by these subsidiaries which contributes to a lack of transparency around tax paid in Australia, as well as the web of companies tied to tax havens used by its parent company.

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