Australia falls behind Cameroon on resource tax transparency 0

Australia is set to become the world’s largest exporter of gas but its level of resource tax transparency falls behind Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Mongolia, a new global report has found, as the country forfeits billions of dollars in tax to multinational mining giants.

A Senate hearing into the Callaghan review of the petroleum resource rent tax this week heard just how murky our tax data is, with only opaque disclosures from the companies themselves giving us an indication of how much tax they pay. Australia is set to eclipse Qatar as the largest exporter of gas in the world by 2020 but will receive just a fraction of the revenue, $800 million compared to Qatar’s $26.6 billion.

The resource governance index found countries that receive Australian aid funding for programs aimed at improving their resource sectors outperformed Australia on revenue management. Australia, ranking 32nd, scored lower than Botswana, Niger and the Ivory Coast, according the report from the global Natural Resources Governance Institute.

“Australia has a data problem,” said Jessie Cato, the national co-ordinator for Publish What You Pay Australia, a tax transparency network. “We have poor systematic data collection, it is often private, published in a closed data format like PDF, and located across numerous agencies.”

Culled from the Sydney Morning Herald