A fair tax system | Australian Greens

A fair tax system

Action to protect essential public services and fight inequality

While the gap between the rich and everyone else gets worse, high income earners and big business are using the tax system to avoid paying their fair share. It’s time to use the tax system to reduce inequality and properly fund the essential public services we all need, like quality health and education.

Australia doesn’t have a tax system any more – we have a tax avoidance system. Large corporations and the super-rich have rigged the rules for themselves, and the old parties are too frightened to do anything about it.
Corporate donations, the vested interests and the revolving door between the old parties and big business have ensured that the richest companies and individuals are accumulating wealth, while inequality continues to increase.

Corporate Tax & Big Business Tax Avoidance

Our plan will:

  • Give the ATO the resources and powers to do its job by reducing the spend on consultancies and re-apportioning funds to employ an additional 4,000 people, which is the reduction in average staffing levels at the ATO since the Liberals have taken office.
  • Ensure accurate and timely reporting on tax avoidance, including a settlements register to detail any arrangement the ATO reaches with large companies. This would be a regularly updated searchable database that named companies for every settlement that they reach with the ATO, and would list the amount that the ATO originally assessed as the company’s tax liability and the amount the matter was settled for.
  • Prevent corporate tax avoidance by introducing worldwide gearing ratios to cap the amount of money the Australian arm of a company can ‘borrow’ from another arm of the same company that is located in a tax haven. Setting a cap at the average of a company’s worldwide debt level would prevent companies from artificially inflating their debt levels in Australia to reduce the amount of tax deductions they make. This will limit the ability of companies from shifting profits to overseas tax havens, raising $1.75 billion.*
  • Oppose the corporate tax cut from 30% to 25%, keeping $2.7 billion* in public hands.

Ensuring the Super Rich and Investors Pay Their Share

Unfair loopholes make it easier for the super-rich, investors and speculators to accrue and hold on to wealth, at the expense of renters, first home buyers and the money available for universal public services.

Our plan will:

  • Introduce a Buffett Rule that would limit the amount of deductions made by those on high incomes —those earning over $300,000. This will force high income earners to pay a minimum rate of tax and stop those on high incomes from deducting their taxable income to zero. This plan would raise $9.5 billion* of revenue.
  • Target wealthy property investors and level the housing playing field by phasing out the Capital Gains Tax discount by 10% per year over 5 years, scrapping negative gearing for any future purchases, and phasing out negative gearing for multiple properties. This would return $14.3 billion* to the budget.
  • Seek tax justice through targeted tax avoidance measures like taxing trusts as large corporations (at a rate of 30%), raising $3.8 billion*.

End Handouts & Loopholes for Mining Giants

The biggest companies aren’t paying their fair share. That's particularly true of big mining companies, the majority of which are owned by overseas interests.

Our plan will:

• Repair the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) paid by the gas industry so it compensates Australians for the gas they own.
• End fossil fuel subsidies, mainly paid to multinational mining companies, returning over $23 billion* to public hands
• Introduce a mining super profits tax, at a rate of 40 per cent, to make sure that profits from our natural resources flow to Australians, and not just big business.

*all figures are over the forward estimates

Read our plan


Removing tax free fuel and other perks for miners

$23 billion

Removing the capital gains tax discount and negative gearing

$14.3 billion

Worldwide gearing ratios to ensure companies pay tax on revenue they earn in Australia

$1.75 billion

The Buffett Rule, to ensure high-income earners pay their share of tax

$9.5 billion

Stopping the concealment and splitting of income by trusts

$3.8 billion

Block or reverse company tax cuts

$2.7 billion

*all figures are over the forward estimates