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Apple Oz Claims All-Clear Ruling By Aust. Tax Office

Apple Australia claims to have emerged unscathed from a five-year audit by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), avoiding any penalty for its controversial transfer pricing structure – part of a global scheme by the US-based company.

Apple Oz had reportedly shifted $9 billion in Australian profits to its Irish parent in the 10 years to 2013 by placing increasing mark-ups on products sold by the Irish operation to Apple Australia.

It had been under ATO scrutiny since 2012, but this week Apple claimed that an audit ordered by the ATO had wrapped up in May with “no issues of dispute”.

Apple Australia’s rarely glimpsed MD Tony King broke years of media silence to claim the Tax Office had found no problems with the company’s filings.

“We have confirmation from the ATO that all our corporate taxes are up to date and we continue to engage only with the ATO as to our current and future taxes,” King told a parliamentary committee.

He did agree that Apple’s tax bill for 2016 had jumped significantly on previous years to $128 million, due to an adjustment of $58.3 million relating to prior years. Its revenue in that year was $7.5 billion.

King said the adjustment followed updated estimates following the end of an advanced pricing arrangement the company had with the ATO. He added that the $58 million “brings our taxes up to date.”

He said Apple had paid around A$630 million in tax during the five-year period of the ATO audit, compared with around $175 million in the previous five years.

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