Australia's biggest companies avoiding tax

08 December, 2017, 12:09 | Author: Regina Silva
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The ATO said that, of those not paying tax, 219 entities reported taxable income but were able to deduct prior-year losses; 59 reported a taxable income but were also entitled to offsets, such as the research and development incentive; 127 entities reported an accounting profit but tax deductions were allowed at higher rates than for accounting; and 327 entities reported an accounting loss.

ONE-third of Australia's biggest companies have failed to pay any tax but there are signs tech companies are finally coughing up some of their profits to the local community.

"As these multi-billion investments were completed in 2017 and have started production, the amount of tax paid by ExxonMobil Australia is anticipated to increase significantly", said Travis Parnaby, a spokesman for the oil major.

For the year in question, Apple generated AU$7.57 billion on Australian soil, resulting in AU$118 million - 30 percent - of its AU$393 million taxable income being delivered to the ATO.

One of the nation's most prominent media companies, News Corp Australia, declared $2.9 billion in income but did not pay a cent in tax.

The news comes just four days before the Federal Government closes its tender for its master media account, which past year reportedly earned Dentsu over $175 million.

Chevron reported $2.1 billion in income for 2016 and paid no tax, while Shell Energy Holdings Australia - a unit of Royal Dutch Shell - reported $4.2 billion in income and $97 million in taxable income but paid no tax.

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The DPT will hit multinationals with global revenue of more than AU$1 billion and Australian revenue of greater than AU$25 million with a 40 percent tax on all profits.

Included in those that paid no tax were defence contractor BAE Systems, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and bookmaker Crownbet, which is owned by Australian James Packer.

Activist group Tax Justice Network Australia refuted the ATO's finding, saying tax avoidance was rife in Australia.

Google Australia paid $16 million in tax for the year, off the back of taxable income of $121.9 million and total income of $501.8 million.

Hewlett Packard South Pacific Pty Ltd earned AU$3.5 billion and Dimension Data Australia Pty Ltd pulled in an income of AU$1.2 billion during 2014-15, yet according to the ATO, neither organisation paid tax in Australia for that period.

Samsung Electronics, by comparison, reported total income of $2.5 billion and a taxable income of $12 million, paying $3.6 million in tax.

However, these figures have not been broken out by the ATO for the purposes of the transparency report.

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