Aldi still not decided on Voluntary Tax Transparency Code

Posted by Ian Grinblat on 5th December 2016

Aldi is still deciding whether it will join the Australian Voluntary Tax Transparency Code (TTC), despite the repeated urgings from the board of Wesfarmers, owner of Aldi’s competitor, Coles.

The TTC is a set of principles and minimum standards to guide medium and large businesses on public disclosure of tax information. The TTC was developed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and is endorsed by the Australian Federal Government in the in its 2016-17 budget.

Coles and Woolworths are both signatories to the TTC. Wesfarmers chief executive, Richard Goyder, last year took a swipe at Äldi saying “paying corporate tax in Australia and they should be very transparent.”

Since its release in May 2016, the TTC has led many large businesses, particularly multinationals, to release more information about the company tax they pay in Australia. According to the Business Council of Australia, 56 companies in total have joined, accounting for AUD $23 billion, or one-third, of company tax paid in 2013-14.

Aldi, one of Australia’s largest retailers, is not required to be audited or to disclose accounts to ASIC as it is structured as a limited partnership. Limited partnerships are registered with the states and territories.

However, in a submission to the earlier Senate inquiry into tax avoidance (which lapsed when the parliament was dissolved), Tom Daunt, the Chief Executive of Aldi Australia, assured the Senate that Aldi “does not engage in the inappropriate pricing of international related party transactions for the purposes of artificially reducing taxable profits in Australia.”

In a statement today to Australian Food News, an ALDI Australia spokesperson affirmed that the company “currently complies with all its statutory tax reporting obligations” and that the company is “still assessing the impact of implementing the Voluntary Tax Transparency Code on its Australian operations”.

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