Apple Oz Claims All-Clear Ruling By Aust. Tax Office

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 23, 2017

But crossbench senator Nick Xenophon said evidence to a separate Senate committee in Sydney on Tuesday into the future of journalism from academics at the Melbourne Business School suggested an "extraordinary discrepancy" between what Facebook and Google say their revenues are in Australia.

Microsoft, along with Apple and Google, have been under scrutiny by the ATO and the Federal Government over their tax practices in Australia dating back to at least 2012 in some cases.

The company has had an operation in place whereby its Singapore business effectively sells certain products to Australian customers, which would result in a large portion of the revenue being booked in Singapore, which claims a much lower corporate tax rate than Australia.

King revealed that revenue for Apple in Australia for 2016 was $7.5 billion.

Microsoft's representative was also questioned about a report published in November 2016 by The Australian Financial Review, where the vendor said it had agreed to sign the Board of Taxation's Voluntary Tax Transparency Code.

Under the new model, Goff said that the Microsoft Australia's profit from Australian sales, which the ATO can tax at 30 per cent, has increased from $0.15 cents in the dollar to $0.20 cents in the dollar.

Both companies are now being audited by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Meanwhile, Apple told the committee its tax arrangements in Australia had been given the tick of approval by authorities following a long-running audit.

Microsoft said that, following the agreement with the ATO, Australia's tax collector saw no need for an APA.

"There are no issues of dispute between Apple and the ATO", Tony King told the committee.

Microsoft declined to comment on the settlement's terms, with a spokeswoman saying only that it granted "certainty" for the tax years from 2011 to 2022.

The inquiry is seeking to find out whether Australia's current tax laws are adequate and companies are complying with existing laws.

"We are a compliant taxpayer everywhere that we operate in the world", King said. He added that the $58 million "brings our taxes up to date".

ATO commissioner Chris Jordan told senators on Tuesday that audits and anti-tax-avoidance legislation passed previous year had forced multinational companies to collectively report an additional $7 billion in sales in Australia for tax purposes.

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