Screws turn on tax havens

November 23rd, 2009

Australia and other developed nations are tired of seeing their tax dollars heading overseas and out of reach, writes Ruth Williams and Ian McIlwraith.

Sydney Morning Herald

There is little love lost between business and the Tax Office at the best of times, but when the Tax Commissioner, Michael D’Ascenzo, lobbed a grenade at the international investors who had made a $1.5 billion profit selling their Myer Holdings’ shares to the public, the shrapnel flew around the world.

Not only had the Tax Office challenged the right of buyout specialist Texas Pacific Group’s clients to keep almost $680 million from the Myer float, but its targeting of the first and largest Australian IPO of an expected avalanche of new company listings as the sharemarket rebounds from the global financial crisis sent an ominous message to the financial wizards.

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