Friday, 29 June 2018 05:43

US tech companies paid more tax in Australia last year: report Featured

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American multinational technology companies paid $616 million in tax during the last year, a total of $380 million more than the previous year, after new tax-avoidance laws were put in place.

But there are still concerns that tax avoidance is taking place, The Australian reported.

The total tax paid by Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Google in 2016-17 was an increase of 160% over the previous financial year.

The report about the figures comes at a time when the Australian Government has just given trying to push a bill through that would have reduced the company tax rate by 5% from 30% to 25%.

The newspaper's analysis showed that the four companies had been changing their accounting systems in order to bring Australian-generated revenue into the country, rather than process it through low-tax countries like Ireland and Singapore.

The figures show that Apple earned $8.04 billion 2016-17 ((upto 30 September) and paid income tax of $282 million; Google earned $1.02 billion in 2017 and paid $102 million in tax; Facebook earned $479 million in revenue and paid $49 million in tax for 2017; and Microsoft paid $53 million in tax on $1.05 billion of income in 2016-17 (upto 30 June).

The changes in income tax paid were: Apple paid $282 million compared to $155 million the previous year; Google paid $232 million compared to $41 million; Facebook paid $49 million compared to $2 million; and Microsoft paid $53 million compared to $38 million in the previous year.

The companies confirmed that they had tinkered with their accounting in order to conform to the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law which has been in operation since 2016.

The European Union has taken a much tougher stance than Australia on tax avoidance by American technology companies and has said it is looking for a permanent solution to the issue.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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