ATO To Force E-Com Tax Dodgers To Pay Aussie ‘Google Tax’
The Australian Tax Office is on the hunt for companies routing income through low-tax nations such as Singapore to avoid paying tax in Australia. The ATO issued the warning to online companies suspected of implementing new tax arrangements to escape the federal government’s new anti-avoidance laws.
Thirty-five e-commerce companies are under review or audit by the ATO.
Of the 35 e-commerce cases under investigation 17 are at the review stage and 18 are under audit with the probe focusing on whether the amount of income declared in Australia is adequate.
ATO deputy commissioner Mark Konza has put such companies on notice for “contriving” new tax arrangements to escape being hit by the federal government’s new anti-avoidance laws, known informally as Australia’s “Google tax”.
He told Fairfax Media the ATO was looking at the tax structures used by several well-known multinationals that route profits through low-tax nations.
Companies under scrutiny include Apple, Microsoft, Google, Uber and Airbnb.
Konza would not name specific countries or companies, but said many of the cases were detailed during the recent Senate inquiry into corporate tax avoidance. Those reviews and audits are focused on whether the amount of income declared in Australia is adequate, he said.