ATO shows no-tax tech firms
IBM, Atlassian, Citrix and Unisys generated taxable income but avoided paying tax in 2016.
A new transparency report from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) outlines the tax bills of more than 2,000 companies operating in Australia.
The list includes 1,693 Australian public and foreign-owned companies with income of $100 million or more, and 350 Australian-owned resident private companies with more than $200 million in income.
Over 700 of these companies did not pay tax in Australia in 2016.
The firms that did not pay tax despite generating profit includes:
- IBM Australia & New Zealand, which generated revenue of $3.6 billion and had $23.4 million of taxable income
- Australian software developer Atlassian, which generated revenue of $600 million and had taxable income of $87.4 million
- Schneider Electric Australia Holdings, which generated $1.4 billion in revenue had $72.4 million of taxable income
- Canon Australia, which generated revenue of $783 million and had $36 million in taxable income
- Perth-based ASG Group, which generated revenue of $189 million and had $15.7 million of taxable income
- Citrix Asia Pacific, which generated revenue of $307.5 million and $9.8 million of taxable income
- Unisys, which generated revenue of $207.1 million and had taxable income of $1.5 million
But ATO deputy commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn said most large companies did in fact voluntarily pay the right tax amounts.
The ATO says not paying tax is not necessarily a sign of wrongdoing, with many companies making legitimate losses for tax and accounting purposes.
“In the last financial year alone we issued more than $4 billion in amended assessments relating to prior years to public groups and multinationals, and we have already issued a further $1 billion in amended assessments this financial year. These amounts are not reflected in the corporate tax transparency data,” Mr Hirschhorn said.
The government is attempting to crackdown on tax-dodgers with the introduction of its multinational anti-avoidance law (MAAL), diverted profits tax (DPT), and country-by-country reporting (CbC).
Mr Hirschorn says the ATO will “to begin to see the impact of the MAAL in the 2016-17 data as companies restructure to comply with the requirements of the new law”.