A career public servant has been appointed to head the Australian Taxation Office as the federal government ramps up efforts to get multinationals to pay more tax.
Current Australian Institute of Health and Welfare chief executive Rob Heferen, who previously worked at the ATO and was a Treasury deputy sectary, will succeed Chris Jordan as the next Tax Commissioner in March next year.
Announcing the appointment, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said Mr Heferen was an "outstanding leader and one of the nation's most experienced tax experts".
Dr Chalmers said that for five years to 2016, Mr Heferen was responsible for tax policy and legislation and revenue forecasting at Treasury and had broad experience in senior leadership roles in the public service.
The announcement is the latest in a string of appointments the government has made to the leadership of key economic institutions, including the elevation of Michele Bullock to replace Philip Lowe as Reserve Bank of Australia governor and the recruitment of economist Danielle Wood to head the Productivity Commission.
Mr Heferen said it was "an absolute privilege" to become the next Tax Commissioner, adding that a well-functioning tax system was "vital to ensure governments can properly fund our public services to benefit our entire society".
Dr Chalmers praised Mr Jordan for his leadership of the ATO, particularly for the success of the Tax Avoidance Taskforce in work driving greater tax compliance by multinationals and large corporations.
Since its inception in 2016-17, the taskforce has helped raise an additional $22.9 billion of revenue, including from major companies including Apple, BHP, Chevron, Facebook and Google.
But the government suffered a setback this week when the Senate rejected legislation aimed at cracking down even further on multinational tax avoidance.
Dr Chalmers slammed the decision, saying it "beggars belief, frankly, that some of the crossbenchers and the Coalition want to take longer to get to the right outcome on multinational tax".
But Opposition treasury spokesman Angus Taylor said the government's bill had been poorly designed and would have hit not only multinationals but local firms as well, including small businesses.
"The Coalition has a strong record on addressing multinational tax avoidance. [But] Labor's multinational tax bill is so badly designed the Senate has heard it taxes Australian small businesses and employers - the backbone of our community," Mr Taylor said.
The government is part of a multilateral effort, coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, to set a uniform minimum 15 per cent effective corporate tax rate.
The OECD has released analysis showing that more than 37 per cent of global net profits - worth more than $US2.4 trillion - are taxed at an effective rate of less than 15 per cent, even for those companies operating in high-taxed jurisdictions.