Australia to introduce bills on petroleum duty, PwC scandal reform

By OXShare

On Thursday, Australia will implement two tax bills that have been previously announced. These bills aim to increase the revenue generated through petroleum taxes and also establish the government’s official response to a scandal that arose when confidential tax plans were leaked by a partner at PwC Australia.

Proposed changes to the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT), which were initially mentioned in the May budget, aim to decrease the percentage of earnings that can be used for deductions. It is projected that these reforms will generate around A$2.4 billion ($1.56 billion) by June 2027.

Later this year, the government will initiate consultations on additional changes, following a Treasury review which included a total of 11 recommendations. In August, the government accepted eight of these recommendations.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers stated on Wednesday that the amendments to the PRRT (Petroleum Resource Rent Tax) will guarantee that the offshore LNG (liquefied natural gas) sector pays higher taxes at an earlier stage.

On Thursday, the Labor government of the centre-left will present a bill that has been prepared to address the exposure of a former partner from PwC Australia, who leaked confidential tax plans of the government and subsequently used this information to attract business from multinational corporations.

The reforms that have been previously disclosed will significantly increase the maximum punishment for endorsing schemes that exploit taxes by 100 times, reaching up to A$780 million. Additionally, these reforms will simplify the process of prosecuting offenders by expanding the application of the rules, which up until now have only been utilized in six instances.

Additional modifications may be implemented in the future. In August, Chalmers declared a two-year assessment of the regulations overseeing major consulting and auditing firms.

($1 = 1.5389 Australian dollars)