Tax Complexity in Australia – A Survey-Based Comparison to the OECD Average

29 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2020 Last revised: 4 Aug 2021

Date Written: January 27, 2020


This article comprehensively reviews Australia’s corporate income tax complexity as faced by multinational corporations (MNCs) and compares it to the average of the remaining OECD countries. Building on unique survey data, I find that the Australian tax code is considerably more complex than the OECD average, which is mainly due to overly complex anti-avoidance legislation, such as regulations on transfer pricing, general anti-avoidance or controlled foreign corporations (CFC). In contrast, Australia’s tax framework, which covers processes and features such as tax law enactment or tax audits, is close to the OECD average. A more granular analysis yields further interesting insights. For example, excessive details in the tax code and the time between the announcement of a tax law change and its enactment turn out to be serious issues in Australia relative to the remaining OECD countries.

Keywords: Tax Complexity, Corporate Income Tax System, Survey, Australia, OECD Countries

JEL Classification: H20, H25, C83, O57

Suggested Citation

Hoppe, Thomas, Tax Complexity in Australia – A Survey-Based Comparison to the OECD Average (January 27, 2020). TRR 266 Accounting for Transparency Working Paper Series No. 14, Available at SSRN: or

Thomas Hoppe (Contact Author)

Paderborn University ( email )

Warburger Str. 100
Paderborn, 33098

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