The Financial Review claims that Hockey is pressing the Tax Office to tackle “location specific profits” by technology companies such as Apple, which charges Australian consumers 9 per cent more for its iPhone 6 than the price it sets for the same phone in the United States.
ChannelNews has suggested to Hockey that he also takes a look at the likes of Sandisk whose products are significantly more expensive in Australia than the USA. Retailers that we have spoken to claim that some SanDisk products are cheaper at US retailers than what they could buy the same products for from SanDisk distributors in Australia.
Hockey claims that Australians pay between $68 and $82 more before GST than Americans for the new iPhones, which are assembled for Apple in China and Brazil.
A parliamentary inquiry last year heard that mark-ups by technology companies could see similar products costing as much as 30 per cent more in Australia. Apple Australia vice-president Tony King testified that Apple charged the same price around the world, but local factors could produce differing retail prices.
Mr Hockey earlier this month called for tax commissioner Chris Jordan “to double his efforts” with more extensive audits of multinational companies ?considered a risk to Australian tax ?collections. He singled out the need to examine whether “location specific profits [are] being generated and then shifted out of Australia”.
“Australian consumers often pay much higher prices compared with US consumers for identical IT hardware, software, music, games, sporting equipment and fashion,” he said
The Australian Financial Review revealed that Apple moved more than $8.9 billion in untaxed profits from its Australian operations to a tax haven structure in Ireland in the past decade.