AFR interactive artist Les Hewitt, my frequent partner-in-crime, and I have done some work with our award-winning investigative journalist Neil Chenoweth on a series of stories about profit shifting by multinational corporations.

The interactives in the stories are designed to complement Neil’s forensic examination of each firm’s accounts. A lot of time it involves taking a very complex set of accounting structures and telling the story as visually as possible to get the essence of what is going one without going into the detail.

Tax stories

Australian Tax Office data compared to Romney quote

The debate over the “47 per cent” of American adults who Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says don’t pay income tax caused a firestorm across the US this week.

An analysis by The Weekend Financial Review has found that the proportion of Australian adults who don’t pay tax is almost as high, at 45 per cent.

But like the figure cited by Mr Romney, that number is full of caveats and exceptions rather than evidence that half the population are bludgers.

Read more tax data analysis at The Australian Financial Review.

THE tax office has doubled the penalties for tax cheats who admit to hiding money in offshore tax havens.

It has also offered tax dodgers the opportunity to anonymously check if they are liable for criminal prosecution, in addition to a fine, before they come forward.

Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo described it as “one last chance to come in and do the right thing”.

“This new offer provides a good opportunity for people who want to do the right thing to get their tax affairs in order,” he said.

November 11, 2009: ATO seeking details of secret UBS bank accounts

October 23, 2009: Wickenby identifies $440m in tax owing

August 07, 2009: ATO reaps $44m in unpaid tax from execs