Australian Tax Office moves fast on Panama Papers

The Australian Taxation Office moved fast when an international group of journalists revealed a huge trove of information had been leaked about who actually owns a large number of the shell companies based in well known tax havens.

The ATO says a “significant number of Australian residents” are named in a tranche of data that relates to “a Panamanian law firm” which is presumably Mossack Fonseca, the source of the “Panama Papers” that were leaked to the journalists. Yesterday, the agency confirmed it had already begun cross-referencing with its own information:

“Currently we have identified over 800 individual taxpayers and we have now linked over 120 of them to an associate offshore service provider located in Hong Kong.”

The media companies who collaborated to investigate the leak have only published a fraction of millions of documents so far and the full impact of the information is yet to be seen.

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