ATO Listing Reveals Oz IT Companies That Paid No Tax In FY15
Many of the largest technology-based companies operating in Australia – including some world leaders – paid no tax in Australia in the year to June 30, 2015, the Australian Tax Office has revealed.
They include Acer, ASG, Amaysim, Citrix, Dicker Data, Dimension Data, HP South Pacific, IBM, Ingram Micro, Macquarie Telecom, NEC, Nextgen and Vodafone. The figures in the report have been taken directly from tax returns lodged and processed, or amendments advised by taxpayers themselves, ATO says.
However ATO is also at pains to point out that the listing does not mean all these companies were dodging tax: some, for instance legitimately paid no tax after recording a net loss for the year. Others point out that a zero tax bill can also signal that a company is using offsets against profits to reduce their tax obligations – which may or may not be legit.
The report is the Tax Office’s second annual list of tax records for the country’s biggest companies, following legislation that permits this. It includes 1579 Australian public and foreign-owned companies with an income of $100 million or more; and 325 Australian-owned resident private companies with an income of $200 million or more.
ATO says the figures are taken directly from tax returns lodged and processed, or amendments advised by taxpayers themselves, by September 1, 2016.
One major IT outfit that did pay some tax was Apple Australia, which had total income of $3.94 billion; taxable income of $557.7 million; and tax payable at $182 million.
Another was Google Australia, which reported total income of $438.6 million; taxable income of $108 million – and paid tax of just $12.1 million.
Microsoft had total income of $679.4 million; taxable income of $111.1 million; and tax payable of $33.3 million.
IBM A/NZ was one of the no-tax outfits. It recorded total income of $3.6 billion; taxable income of $49.34 million; and no tax payable.
Others in the no-tax basket include Acer (total income $268.38 million; no tax payable); Citrix (total income $275 million; taxable income $11.12 million; no tax payable); Dicker Data (total income $447.16 million); Dimension Data (total income $1.19 billion); HP South Pacific (total income $3.5 billion); Ingram Micro (total income $1.75 billion); NEC Australia (total income $410.5 million); NextGen (total income $257.8 million); and Vodafone (total income $4.08 billion).
The Tax Office stresses: ” ‘No tax paid’ does not necessarily mean tax avoidance, and assumptions about an entity’s compliance with their tax obligations, or those of their associated groups, cannot be made solely on the basis of this data.”