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Google To Pay $480 Million To ATO In Tech Crackdown

In a win for the Australian Taxation Office, search engine giant Google has agreed to pay $481.5 million in taxes to the agency.

It’s the latest move from the ATO to get major international technology heavyweights to pay their share of taxes in Australia.

Google join other companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Facebook who have all publicly stated that they have settled their tax affairs with the ATO.

The settlement is believed to cover around a decade’s worth of taxes – spanning from 2008 until 2018 – and will help bolster the federal governments surplus after suffering through months of a stifled economy.

It comes after years of campaigning to get technology giants to pay taxes in Australia, which was launched by then Treasurer Joe Hockey in 2015.

Special efforts designed to get the companies to pay included creating audits of tech companies through a special ATO taskforce and introducing laws that force companies to make sales through Australia, instead of tax haven countries such as Ireland.

In a statement, the ATO claims the move ‘brings the increased collections made against taxpayers in the ecommerce industry to around $1.25 billion cash.’

The sign of an Australian Taxation Office shopfront is seen in Canberra, Friday, May 9, 2014. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING

‘Thanks to the efforts of our ATO officers under the Tax Avoidance Taskforce and the introduction of the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL), Australian sourced sales by these digital giants will now be returned to Australia’s tax base,’ the agency wrote.

‘The operation of the MAAL has already seen $7 billion in taxable sales being returned to Australia.’

The ATO’s Deputy Commissioner Mark Konza also weighed in on the win.

‘This settlement is another great outcome for the Australian Tax System,’ he said.

‘It adds to the significant success of the ATO in positively changing the behaviour of digital taxpayers and significantly increasing the tax they pay in Australia.’

The special taskforce is set to run until 2023 and aims to ‘ensure’ Australians that the agency is protecting their tax base.

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