By Janine Perrett

Why are certain people so dead set against having Parliament pass a bill that made public all their intimate tax details?

Well actually the list of major corporate taxpayers released yesterday is not that one but it shows why certain rich private companies might be a tad embarrassed once their details are also revealed.

The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) yesterday, admirably, released details of the top 1539 corporate names; which showed that some 38% paid no tax at all.

Now they were at pains to point out that does not make them tax avoiders as in some cases they had legitimate tax losses. But in other cases it was simply a disgrace.

I won't list them all here, as many of the worst culprits like Chevron were outed during Senate committee hearings this year.

But do make your own judgments and take a look at the list online and you will find it fascinating reading.

And, like me, you might want to focus on the companies that do pay their fair share and give them your consumer support in future. 

That is the best way to hit back at those you don't believe are pulling their weight.

Encouragingly there are plenty who do pay the correct tax rate in the high twenty percent levels. 

So before you bash the banks and criticise the two supermarket giants in future just remember that along with Telstra and a handful of others who are paying their fair share, they make up the bulk of corporate tax revenue.

ATO chief Chris Jordan noted in an interview with Peter Hartcher from Fairfax last weekend that only 12 of the top companies make up a third of the total corporate tax revenue.

That figure seemed a misprint until yesterday's stunning revelations. 

Given the huge number that pay much less than the official rate, it does make you less sympathetic to the constant business lobbyists trying to get government to lower the corporate tax rate because they are paying too much. Poppycock.

Some other interesting things to note.

Of the top 1500 companies two thirds were foreign owned. Now I am a free trader and believe in globalisation, but its worth noting when only 500 or so are actually Australian and surprise surprise it is the Australian owned corporate giants who do all the heavy lifting.

Again just remember that when bashing successful local banks and supermarkets that meet their responsibilities here - unlike some of their overseas owned counterparts.

One company that I predict will never make the list as a top corporate and should not even be on the ASX list is Slater and Gordon which yesterday completely reversed its own earning guidance of only two weeks ago and now admits things are looking bad. 

The market told them that a fortnight ago when it wiped out their share price. Commentators questioned at the time their dubious decision to reaffirm guidance in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. 

Some of us asked why the ASX and other authorities were missing in action.

Now tough questions need to be asked by the authorities about this company. 

Do I smell a Slater and Gordon type shareholder class action looming?