Scott Morrison has set himself a trap.
Four years ago, the ATO lifted the lid on the scale of corporate greed in Australia. Its first corporate tax transparency report revealed that almost a third of our largest corporations pay $0 in tax.1
Every year since, the nation has grown angrier and angrier as report after report has shown that number has stayed exactly the same.
And while Morrison gutted essential services, slashed the ABC's funding, and attacked vulnerable people with robodebt threats he stood by, complicit, as companies like Exxon Mobil, Adani, and Chevron made off with billions.
The last thing Morrison wants during an election year is to talk corporate tax cheating. The public hates corporate tax cheats. For Morrison it would be an impossible choice between enraging voters with inaction, or angering his big corporate donors with genuine reform.
Either way, Morrison loses.
Which is exactly why GetUp members are teaming up with a squad of Australia's leading tax experts to produce hard-hitting research that will drag tax dodgers into the headlines and onto the airwaves, forcing Scott Morrison to make an impossible decision at a time when every voter is listening.
Can you chip in $12 for a team of researchers to force Scott Morrison to stay on the defensive during an election year?
Timing is crucial. With an early, election budget right around the corner, Scott Morrison will be doing all he can to shape an economic message that he thinks will return him to power.
Together, we can jam that message.
With a team of crack tax experts we can dive deep on the questions the Coalition don't want asked – including whether the government's efforts to combat tax dodging has worked to secure any additional tax revenue from big business, or if it's been a complete failure. We can also build the case for genuine reforms that have worked elsewhere, such as Country-by-Country reporting that forces corporations to reveal where they're hiding their profits.
But we need your help. To get the report ready before an April budget we'll need to cover the costs of:
- Two of Australia's leading tax experts, Associate Professor Roman Lanis, and Dr Brett Govendir to independently guide the project and follow the evidence wherever it takes them.
- A part-time research assistant to pull the data and crunch the numbers to show how ineffective current government efforts have really been.
- Access to expensive international corporate databases to analyse what's worked elsewhere and whether it could work here as well.
- Razor-sharp design and digital media work to make sure that complex research is accessible to voters, journalists, and politicians.
In the past three years, people like you have funded loads of hard-hitting research to expose the depth of corporate tax cheating. And every time we do, real change follows.
- In 2016 GetUp members funded the Closing the Carribean Connection Report which put international profit-shifting under the microscope, and proposed a Diverted Profits Tax. And after the academics testified before a Senate Committee, this exact policy was legislated with bipartisan support.
- In 2017, we chipped in to fund Michael West's research into the shady big business lobby, an investigation that ended up on the front pages of major newspapers after revealing the shocking amount of foreign donations being funneled through the Minerals Council of Australia.
- And last year GetUp members came together to fund Hidden Costs, a report showing the link between the high cost of corporate data in Australia and the level of tax avoidance. The result? ASIC announced it would scrap corporate data fees for journalists and academics.
Click here to chip in $12 to fund a proven, cutting-edge research team to expose Morrison's unforgivable inaction on corporate tax cheating.
It's time for Scott Morrison to pick a side. He can stand for a fair tax system, or protect his corporate donors – but he can't do both.
Together, we've proven that a people-powered movement can provide the resources necessary for research that creates meaningful and lasting change. Let's do it again.
Ed, Jai, Pat and Ez, for the GetUp team
PS. We know this kind of hard hitting research is effective. We've worked with this team of experts before, and the resulting legislation speaks for itself. The last thing Scott Morrison wants in an election year are fresh policy suggestions for tackling corporate tax dodging, that he'll have to say no to. Chip in $12 here to make 2019 a pain in the neck for Scott Morrison.
 Top ten Australian companies paying no tax, Sydney Morning Herald, 17 December 2015