Tax evasion to come under spotlight at G20

TAX evasion on a global scale will be a key issue at this year's G20 meeting in Brisbane, Treasurer Joe Hockey has promised in a speech in Melbourne.

Mr Hockey on Thursday said Australia was already in talks with G20 delegates to ensure action on global tax-base evasion and profit shifting across international borders.

In his address, Mr Hockey said that by the end of this year some "positive global initiatives" would be on the way, including better information sharing on "companies that do not pay a fair level of tax where they earn the income".

The likely agenda item at the coming G20 meeting, hosted by Australia, is part of a wider push to crack down on multi-nationals like Apple and Google, with inquiries here and abroad into their tax-minimisation strategies in recent months.

Mr Hockey said while a tax evasion package was brought in by the previous government, it was "flawed" but with changes, due to be introduced in parliament this month, "we can limit the ability to shift profits out of Australia".