Google + Apple Branded Thieves Over 60 IT + CE Companies Targeted By ATO
A big brand consumer electronics Company is also under investigation over transfer pricing along with two major networking Companies.
Sources have told ChannelNews that six of these Companies could be hot for over $60M in tax penalties.
ChannelNews has a list of several technology Companies that are under investigation by the ATO.
Treasurer Joe Hockey has labelled Google “thieves” when asked whether Apple was also thieving from the Australian public he said “yes”.
He has also criticised multinational companies for using accounting tricks to book profits overseas to reduce local tax obligations.
Speaking as the G20 summit which gets underway in Brisbane Hockey whose electorate is in North Sydney where some of the targeted Companies are located has said that the Australian Government is set to investigate several big overseas brands who operate in Australia.
ChannelNews understands that the tax office is also investigating how some of these Companies operate via internationally owned distributors Synex and Ingram Micro who in some cases are responsible for sales and revenue raising for the International subsidiaries.
In Brisbane today, Today host Karl Stefanovic asked whether Australia’s biggest media player Google – is a tax cheat, along with other technology Companies.
Stefanovic asked: “International tax cheats, I know you’re hoping to crack down on those, like Ikea, Google, trying to get some of that tax back for us has got to be a priority hasn’t it?”
Hockey replied: “Absolutely. Companies that engage in tax evasion are thieves. They’re stealing from us and our community. So the only way to address this is by global action.
“We can have all the measures we want in Australia but there will still be ways they can significantly reduce or even evade their tax obligations in Australia.”
Hockey’s comments follow the controversy which erupted last week which showed more than 340 multinationals used secret agreements with Luxembourg to avoid tax.
Google Australia declined to comment on Hockey’s remarks but referred online marketing site Mumbrella to comments made by Google Australia and New Zealand managing director Maile Carnegie in June where she said criticism of the company’s tax bill was understandable.
“I am actually incredibly empathetic to why people want to talk about this. I get it I completely agree that the ?global taxation system has not kept pace with the [industry] transformation,” she said.
“We’re very, very committed. We want a simpler and more transparent taxation system. I would love for all companies and all multinationals and nationals to have a broader definition or broader view for contribution.”