blog Remember that year when search giant Google made revenues from its Australian operations estimated at north of $1 billion, but paid corporate taxes of just $74,000? Or the year that Apple made $6.1 billion in revenue but paid just $36 million in corporate tax? Yeah, good times, good times. Well, the good times may well be over for these technology giants, with the ABC reporting (we recommend you click here for the full article) that the Australian Taxation Office has (finally) set up a dedicated task force to tackle the situation. The site reports:
“The ATO will not say which companies it is looking into, but there is speculation that Apple and Google are on the list given recent accusations that they have been shifting profits among global subsidiaries as a way of lowering their tax bills.”
Some readers have levelled criticism at Delimiter recently, claiming that we’ve been too harsh on Apple and Google, and that there are other companies who should also receive our reproach for the minimal amount of tax they pay in Australia. Well, we’ve been listening. Some of the other companies we’d like the ATO to take a very close look at indeed include Amazon, Facebook, IBM, HP, Dell and Samsung. These foreign companies are some of our favourites in terms of their very solid products, and they are very important to Australian consumers and businesses. These are businesses we really can’t live without right now.
However, as a consequence, they all enjoy very large revenues in Australia but base their operations overseas. My message to the ATO is this: Let em rip, boys. It would be fascinating to see whether all of these tech giants have been as “open, frank and candid” as they claim about their tax affairs. If they have, they’ve got nothing to hide. If they haven’t, then it’s time they reform their operations to make sure they’re behaving equitably. And if people say I’m not being fair here, please remember: I own my own business too. I pay corporate tax, just like everyone else ;)