ATO Turns Blowtorch On Tech Companies In Fixed Transfer Pricing Probe
ChannelNews understands that ATO officials are looking for offshore accounts used by technology Companies and whether any money is being held in these accounts.
What the ATO are probing is the price at which Australian subsidiaries of several consumer electronics Companies have transacted with each other.
They are also looking at transactions that may include the cost of employing executives and operational staff in Australia.
Also under investigation are Apple, Google and eBay.
The ATO is also looking at technology Companies both large and small that have been using Irish Companies to avoid paying tax in Australia, while many of these Companies have not broken the law they could now be faced with massive back payments after European regulators ruled that advice given by the Irish Government.
Europe’s antitrust regulator will soon provide fuller details on why it suspects Ireland and some other low-tax countries have made special deals with multinationals like Apple and Google that helped the companies avoid billions in taxes from Countries like Australia.
Apple has said it met with the Irish government to discuss taxes and provided information about its operations so that it could pay the correct amount of taxes.
The European Commission’s investigation raises the question of whether Apple and the Irish government cut a special deal in that process, allowing the company to enjoy benefits that others do not have access to.
A senior ATO executive told ChannelNews “Some technology companies go to extraordinary lengths to pay little or no tax in Australia and what we are currently looking at is fixed transfer pricing and issues associated with the way that Companies have operated and are operating”.