How Brian Burston voted compared to someone who believes that the federal govenment should increase transparency in big business (that is, companies with an income equal or more than $100 million/year or, alternatively, $200 million/year) by making certain information public, including their total income and how much tax they paid

Division Brian Burston Supporters vote Division outcome

26th Nov 2018 – Senate Motions - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by a Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick (SA), which means it succeeded.

Motion text

(1) That the Senate notes that—

(a) on 16 October 2018, the Senate ordered the Commissioner of Taxation to provide information (company names to the Economics Legislation Committee related to designated financial entities that have lodged late, or not yet lodged, a corporate income tax return;

(b) on 5 November 2018, the Minister for Finance and the Public Service advanced a public interest immunity claim on the grounds that the disclosure of individual taxpayer information to the committee will harm the public interest by undermining public confidence in taxation laws and taxation administration;

(c) the Minister for Finance and the Public Service also claimed that the disclosure of this information will have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient operations of the Australian Taxation Office;

(d) except in circumstances where the Parliament has explicitly carved out the ability for a House of Parliament to make inquiries, the secrecy provisions of legislation are subservient to the Constitution-derived inquiry powers of Senate;

(e) disclosing the names of financial entities that have not complied with tax laws does not undermine taxation laws and taxation administration, but rather may serve to encourage compliance with taxation laws; and

(f) Australia's tax transparency laws oblige the Commissioner of Taxation to annually publish selected income tax information, including the company name, for certain taxpayers and this has not resulted in the purported harm.

(2) That the Senate affirms that:

(a) there are few circumstances in which a corporation can be of the view they are entitled to anonymity;

(b) the public interest balance lies in favour of the disclosure of companies in breach of taxation law; and

(c) the Senate does not accept the public interest immunity claim advanced by the Minister for Finance and the Public Service.

(3) That the Senate orders the Commissioner of Taxation to comply with the balance of the order agreed to by the Senate on 16 October 2018.

absent Yes Passed by a small majority

25th Jun 2018, 12:19 PM – Senate Taxation Administration Amendment (Corporate Tax Entity Information) Bill 2017 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to pass the bill in the Senate, which means the bill will now go to the House of Representatives for their consideration. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a third time.

What does the bill do?

NSW Senator Doug Cameron (Labor) explained that:

This bill implements a very specific tax transparency measure. The Taxation Administration Amendment (Corporate Tax Entity Information) Bill 2017 amends the Taxation Administration Act 1953 to require the Commissioner of Taxation to publicly release tax data for large private firms with turnover of $100 million or over. This is as Labor originally legislated in 2013 in the Tax Laws Amendment (2013 Measures No. 2) Bill 2013. Section 3C of the act details the type of income and tax information the Commissioner of Taxation is required to make publicly available annually for corporate entities. The bill addresses a prominent deficiency in the tax transparency regime that arose after amendments were made in 2015 and it brings approximately 600 large companies into the tax transparency regime.

absent Yes Passed by a small majority

How "never voted" is worked out

Normally a person's votes count towards a score which is used to work out a simple phrase to summarise their position on a policy. However in this case Brian Burston was absent during all divisions for this policy. So, it's impossible to say anything concrete other than that they have "never voted" on this policy.