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Posts Tagged ‘australian taxation office’
Featured, Industry, News - Monday, April 7, 2014 15:03 - 6 Comments
news The Australian Taxation Office has revealed plans to investigate eight major multinational technology companies, some of which which are paying “very low or no” tax in Australia, as scrutiny on so-called ‘profit-shifting’ activities by the local operations of technology giants such as Apple and Google continues to ramp up.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported late last week (we recommended you click here for the full article) that the investigations were taking part as part of the formation of a new unit within the Australian Taxation Office designed to tackle major tax avoiders, with the newspaper quoting ATO deputy commissioner Mark Konza that the ATO was reviewing eight “major players” in the digital economy, including three which were currently under “active audit”.
The issue has been a long-running one with relation to the technology sector in Australia. In the year to 28 September 2013, for example, Apple recently reported that it made $6.1 billion in revenues, with gross profits up 7.4 percent to $529.4 million. However, the company continued to pay only a small amount of tax in Australia, listing its local corporate income tax expense as $36 million for the period, despite the fact that it made $6.1 billion in revenues.
The reason Apple pays so little tax in Australia is that as a proportion of revenues, Apple’s cost of goods sold in Australia is significantly higher as listed in its ASIC documents than it is in the US, meaning the company pays little tax in Australia compared with its US tax situation.
Similarly, for the 2012 calendar year, the Australian division of search and software giant Google paid a meagre $4.1 million in tax (compared with $74,176 the year previously), despite the fact that industry analysts regularly estimate that the company makes over $1 billion in revenues from Australia each year. Much of the revenue is not counted in Google Australia’s financial results as it is billed from offshore. Continue…
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