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25 Aug 2016

Madeleine Hefferman, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

Australia: Westfarmers urges supermarkets to sign up to Voluntary Tax Transparency Code

"Wesfarmers urges Aldi to sign tax code in 'corporate peer pressure'", 15 Aug 2016

Coles has urged its German rival Aldi to sign up to a new tax transparency code that will lead to more big businesses, particularly multinationals, releasing detailed information about the tax they pay. Aldi has yet to sign up to the Voluntary Tax Transparency Code...The government is "encouraging" all companies to adopt the code this financial year, and will make it mandatory if too few companies come forward. Wesfarmers...and other retail chains such as Bunnings and Officeworks, has signed up...Australia's biggest retailer Woolworths said it "intends on becoming a signatory to the taxation transparency code"...With an estimated 10 per cent market share of Australia's $90 billion-odd grocery market, Aldi is one of the country's biggest retailers. But, unusually, it is structured as a limited partnership. This means Aldi is not required to be audited nor to disclose its accounts to the corporate regulator, ASIC...Aldi told Fairfax Media it was "assessing the impact of implementing the Voluntary Tax Transparency Code on its Australian operations"...[and] that it "currently complies with all its statutory tax reporting obligations"...