ATO Outsourcing has Tax Haven Links

  • 11 December 2018

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is outsourcing contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars to multinational corporations with aggressive tax minimisation strategies, a new report reveals.  The report authored by Public Services International (PSI) and the Centre for International Corporate Tax Responsibility and Research (CICTAR) exposes contracts by the Australian Tax Office to private corporations with links to tax havens.

The report examines the dubious practices of Serco, Stellar and Outsourcing Inc, who together hold contracts worth more than $250 million with the ATO.

Serco, known for its immigrant detention and private prison business, is the largest provider of outsourced labour to the ATO, with contracts worth over $120 million.  Stellar Global, awarded over $50 million in ATO call-centre contracts, recently garnered controversy after declaring their European branch bankrupt, owing over $200,000USD to the UK tax authority and avoiding redundancy payments for its workers. Less than a month beforehand, Stellar Europe made a payment of over $100,000 USD to its parent company - a shell entity in the British Virgin Islands.

The report makes a number of recommendations for policy makers including for full public disclosure of the ultimate parent company and/or all beneficial owners of any government contractor and full transparency for all public contracts.