Australia's transparency report shows one third of large businesses paid no tax

Lloyd Doyle
December 8, 2017

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.

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.

IT companies which have come under scrutiny in recent years lifted their tax payments.

Exxon said it had no taxable income as it has invested almost $18 billion during the past few years on major projects including Gorgon and the Kipper Tuna Turrum field.

Google paid $16 million in tax on a taxable income of $122 million while claiming it earned $502 million in income.

Glencore Investments declared $18.3 billion in income but not a cent in tax.

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

"No tax paid does not necessarily mean tax avoidance", the ATO said.

Chevron Australia had $2.1 billion in income but failed to pay tax.

It should be noted that it is highly likely a number of the companies in the list that reported taxable income of zero did so because they also reported a net loss during the period.

A probe by the Senate into corporate tax avoidance that began in 2014 was extended this week and is due to issue a final report by the end of May 2018.

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

The Australian government legislated a new Diverted Profits Tax (DPT) in March, which is meant to prevent the practice of multinational organisations shifting profits made in Australia offshore to avoid paying tax.

"Increasingly, the data will also reflect our approach to resolving past matters in requiring future compliance to be "locked in", he said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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