An Australian lawyer has claimed that large Australian companies should be exempt from revealing the amount of tax they pay since it could lead to kidnappings.

Arnold Bloch Leibler lawyer Mark Leibler argues that disclosure could result in unwanted transparency of shifty tax avoidance schemes potential kidnap attempts on wealthy business owners.  Though his argument is backed by the federal Coalition government it has been derided by many.  One fuming accounting academic, Jeffrey Knapp, has described the position taken by the government and Leibler as “the stupidest excuse for non-disclosure I’ve ever heard”.

One of Liebler's clients hoping for a bit of privacy yesterday
Under new rules introduced by the previous government, but which only come into force from July, tax paid by companies with income of more than $100 million will be published on the website of the Australian Taxation Office for the first time. However the federal government says 700 companies should be exempted because of privacy, commercial and safety concerns.

Liebler, who advises some of Australia’s wealthiest people, commented, “I have reason to know that there are a number of people out there who are not visible on the BRW Rich List and that want to preserve their privacy and don't want details of their wealth or income or turnover made available to the public”.
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