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The Great Multinational Tax Rort (Martin Feil, Scribe)

Martin Feil has over 20 years’ experience in advising multinational companies and the Australian Tax Office. In this timely book, Feil argues that the tax minimisation practices of multinational companies is potentially more dangerous than the Global Financial Crisis. And the situation is only getting worse with the rise of technology companies: in recent years Apple Australia has only paid three percent tax on its profits. The major tool used by multinationals to minimise tax is transfer pricing, where the parent company charges inflated prices to its overseas subsidiaries. The subsidiaries, as in the Apple Australia example, after having paid such high prices to the parent company for their goods and services, post either losses or weak profits. Interestingly, Feil maintains that the dropping of Australian import tariffs was an invitation to aggressive transfer pricing practices. With no deterrent taxes being paid at the border, a race to the bottom was on for tax minimisation. The Great Multinational Tax Rort gives a clear and concise overview of how multinational companies have ruthlessly reduced their tax payments. Feil uses his considerable industry experience to make an arcane subject instructive and often jaw-dropping. This should be mandatory reading for concerned citizens and the political classes.

Chris Saliba is co-owner of North Melbourne Books and a freelance reviewer


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