What we think about firms paying too much tax

Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent
(Australian Associated Press)

The Turnbull government not only faces a political battle getting $50 billion in business tax cuts through the parliament, it seems voters aren’t too keen on the idea either.

A new survey shows just six per cent of Australians think large companies pays too much tax, while only around a third (37 per cent) thought small business was overly taxed.

Furthermore, the latest Essential Research poll found 60 per cent of respondents, including more than half of coalition voters, think making big multinational corporations pay more tax would be good for the economy because it would increase government revenue.

Just 11 per cent thought this would be bad for the economy because those companies wold stop investing in Australia.

The business tax cuts were the cornerstone of last year’s pre-election budget.

It would incrementally cut the company tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent over the next decade, which would add one per cent to economic growth when fully implemented.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten remains unimpressed.

“One per cent, woopy-doo. That’s change down the back of the couches, quite frankly,” he told the National Press Club.

The first instalment would see all businesses with a turnover of $10 million pay a tax rate of 27.5. At present, small businesses with a turnover of $2 million pay a rate of 28.5 per cent.

Mr Shorten says he hasn’t seen the case made for lifting the definition of small business to $10 million.

New Treasury figures show the budget will forego $1.1 billion in revenue in 2016/17 from a lower business tax rate, increasing to $1.8 billion by 2019/20.

In its 2016 tax expenditure statement, it shows the capital gains tax exemption on a main residence will result in $27.5 billion in foregone revenue this financial year, while GST exemptions on food, education and health will amount to $15.4 billion.


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