In a data dump that is sure to ignite interest the world over, the Australian Taxation Office has released a trove of data that shows the income, taxable income, and tax paid by more than 1500 companies in 2014.
Here’s the outcomes for some of the global tech giants, which have been at the centre of the debate about use of offshore hubs to minimise their tax bills.
The first thing to remember is income on its own means nothing because some companies spend vast amounts of money to generate sales. Taxable income is defined by the ATO as “the amount left after you have deducted all the expenses you are allowed to claim from your assessable income”.
Apple, often demonised along with Google in the debate over the tax affairs of multinationals, saw $6.2 billion in income and paid $74.1 million in tax on $247 million in taxable income.
Google, which books all of its ad sales in Australia through divisions outside of Australia, logged $357 million in income. $91 million was taxable and they paid $9 million in tax – an effective tax rate of around 10%.
HP made no money on $3.1 billion in income and so paid no tax.
IBM, meanwhile, had more than $4.1 billion in income but only $59 million in taxable income and, again with an effective tax rate of around 10%, paid $5.9 million in tax.
Australia’s official corporate tax rate is 30%.