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Govt wants to reveal MRRT data: Swan


The federal government will make sure people know how much money is really coming from the controversial new mining tax - if the tax commissioner agrees, Treasurer Wayne Swan says.

The Senate ordered the tax commissioner this week to reveal how much money, if any, has flowed from the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT).

Treasury forecast that the tax on the super profits of iron ore and coalminers would raise $2 billion this financial year, but analysts believe that's unlikely.

Despite calls to reveal the amount, the government has been insisting the commissioner can't reveal the tax receipts of mining companies for legal reasons.

Mr Swan said the government believed any MRRT revenue data should be published but says it is up to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to decide.

"If the ATO assesses it can provide information specifically about MRRT revenue from the second quarter to the government, then we will ensure it is made public," he said in a statement on Friday.

Protecting the confidentiality of individual taxpayers was essential, the Treasurer said. "But I believe there is a case to examine whether large and multinational businesses should have the same level of confidentiality about the taxes they have paid."

Mr Swan said revenues from the mining tax had taken a massive hit because of ongoing uncertainty in the global economy, volatile commodity prices and the high Australian dollar.

"MRRT is a profits-based tax that raises more revenue when profits are higher and less when they are lower; that's the whole point of the tax," he said.

Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury said earlier this week the government was looking into how corporate tax laws could be made more transparent.