Australian government announces crackdown on tax avoidance by Apple, others

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  • Reply 61 of 111
    sennensennen Posts: 1,472member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

     

    Nothing will happen.

     

    Our current government are a bunch of lying sleaze bags who are just throwing out a few feel good stories to keep the fools who voted for them happy as they continue to pillage OUR wealth for the rich and corporations who make up the majority of their party donors.

     

    "Eleventy" Joe Hockey is the most incompetent idiot, this country or any other country has ever had as a treasurer.




    Yup. They won't close the loopholes that allow companies to pay (much much less) tax in Singapore instead of here because it would upset all their mates in the mining industry.

  • Reply 62 of 111
    froodfrood Posts: 771member

    I don't see any problem here.

     

    Apple is currently paying a very small amount of taxes relative to the large sums it makes in the US, EU, and Australia.

     

    There is no fault on Apple's part, they are legally taking advantage of loopholes in the laws.

     

    The tax avoidance has gotten bad enough (from many multinationals), that the respective countries are fixing the loopholes.

     

    *After* they fix the loopholes, all the multinationals (including Apple) will have to change their practices to comply with the new laws, or face fines.

  • Reply 63 of 111
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    Hmm... I've been watching your posts for a few weeks now, and I am fairly convinced you're not our formerly prolific poster SolipsismX (nee Solipsism).

    I am sure he must be quite flattered -- and it's most certainly not 'illegal' vis-a-vis AI rules -- but may I ask why you chose this particular nom de plume?

    I wonder if he is really Ben frost in drag?
  • Reply 64 of 111
    stoutiestoutie Posts: 33member

    Tax avoidance is completely legal. Tax evasion is illegal. You avoid paying as much tax as you can, as long as it's legal and honest. Taxes suck to begin with, and much of the money is used badly. As long as a company or individual follows THE LAW, the only thing to complain about is THE LAW, not the tax avoidance. If the law is bad, condemn the law, not those who follow it. We should all engage in tax avoidance. Anyone who doesn't is a fool. Any indictment of tax avoidance is nothing more than the pratter of fools. 

  • Reply 65 of 111
    dr hawkdr hawk Posts: 22member



    The issue is Tax minimisation vs Tax avoidance. Apple pays bugger all tax in Australia on money that it makes from Australians. It has to be retrospective because you have to make the claim first before it can be investigated. In Australia you can be audited up to 7 years after making a tax declaration and I am assuming that other countries have these sorts of rules as well.

     

    It paid $80.3 million tax on $6 billion turnover in Australia (http://www.smh.com.au/business/apples-803-million-australian-tax-bill-revealed-20150127-12yrqq.html) which is a ridiculously low tax rate (corporate tax rate in Australia is 30%).

     

    The issue is how they are doing this. Mainly it is by shifting untaxed profit to Ireland as 'payment for Intellectual property' which is a bit nefarious and nebulous because what is the cost of IP and isn;t that already built into the wholesale price of the goods?

     

    Other companies (looking at you News Corp) are worse in that they labour their subsidiaries with high interest loans (which can be written off in tax) to their parent companies who actually borrow the money for nothing and through $2 shelf companies shift the loans to shares ALL to avoid paying tax on locally generated profits.

     

    I think the point is that these schemes are used specifically for tax avoidance and this is what is being tested.

     

    Cheers Dr Hawk

  • Reply 66 of 111
    dr hawkdr hawk Posts: 22member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stoutie View Post

     

    Tax avoidance is completely legal. Tax evasion is illegal. You avoid paying as much tax as you can, as long as it's legal and honest. Taxes suck to begin with, and much of the money is used badly. As long as a company or individual follows THE LAW, the only thing to complain about is THE LAW, not the tax avoidance. If the law is bad, condemn the law, not those who follow it. We should all engage in tax avoidance. Anyone who doesn't is a fool. Any indictment of tax avoidance is nothing more than the pratter of fools. 




    No tax minimisation is legal, tax avoidance and tax evasion are the same thing.

     

    Thats what is being debated here. One issue is that because it is a multinational one issue is that treaties on taxes between countries (sharing info etc) come into play and that may be a bigger issue in the long term.

     

    Cheers Dr Hawk (not any form of Solipsism)

  • Reply 67 of 111
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    nightsky wrote: »
    Excellent news. It's about time Apple paid their fair share in local taxes.
    If you are not happy with it, you should vote out the politicians who passed the laws that Apple and others have abided by to pay the full amount of taxes due.
  • Reply 68 of 111
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,678member

    Pay up!

  • Reply 69 of 111
    jbfromozjbfromoz Posts: 91member
    one wonders when the Australian government will crackdown on tax avoidance by mining and media magnates in Australia.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-26/janda-tax-avoidance-name-and-shame/5478450
  • Reply 70 of 111
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,693member
    analogjack wrote: »
    Not dissimilar to the way Apple is targeting Spotify and other streaming supplier's free tiers. Is that how they use their tax minimisation dollars? To stop other companies from supplying a product that others want, so they themselves can charge for it and make more minimised tax dollars. Making out Apple to be a victim is risible.

    Well I think your comment is desirable. ;)
  • Reply 71 of 111
    kicsikekicsike Posts: 17member
    It is highly unlikely, practically impossible that large corporations, Apple included would resort to illegal activity to make more money.
    What they are doing I strongly suspect is, that they are using tax loopholes set up by the same government to (probably) attract business.
    There is nothing illegal in that.
    As indicated in the article some countries offer tax incentives for foreign corporations to set up or increase business in their countries.
    That measure has benefits for those governments in increased employment.
    Reduced unemployment expenses combined with more tax collection from those employees offset the planned losses of those governments resulting from the tax incentives handed aut to those large corporations.
    It looks like this is a win-win situation for both sides.

    Wake up Astralia! You can loose a lot if Apple decides to pull out completely from your country.
  • Reply 72 of 111
    kicsikekicsike Posts: 17member



    Well written, I am a tax "avoider" myself, but strictly using only 100% legal ways the government allows me to do.

    Tax evasion is not in my "dictionary".

  • Reply 73 of 111
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,031member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kicsike View Post



    It is highly unlikely, practically impossible that large corporations, Apple included would resort to illegal activity to make more money.

    What they are doing I strongly suspect is, that they are using tax loopholes set up by the same government to (probably) attract business.

    There is nothing illegal in that.

    As indicated in the article some countries offer tax incentives for foreign corporations to set up or increase business in their countries.

    That measure has benefits for those governments in increased employment.

    Reduced unemployment expenses combined with more tax collection from those employees offset the planned losses of those governments resulting from the tax incentives handed aut to those large corporations.

    It looks like this is a win-win situation for both sides.



    Wake up Astralia! You can loose a lot if Apple decides to pull out completely from your country.

    Not picking on your post in particular but Australia has always had the ability to look through 'loopholes' in it's tax statute. There are general anti avoidance provisions which can strike down business structures which are set up for the dominant purpose of avoiding tax. This is an area of law which is hardly black letter, so no-one can pout, "Hey it's a legal legal loophole, or it's perfectly legal".

     

    There's always the possibility that the ATO can review an arrangement and declare it invalid. Well, they could if Abbott hadn't eviscerated the public service....

  • Reply 74 of 111
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

     

     

    The Australian government passes tax laws that companies have to abide by.  So how is it even remotely legal on any-level that a government can now come back and fine a company for using tax laws / loopholes?  They did nothing wrong?



    Ah right... election year must be coming.  Politicians have to fluff their feathers.




    They are investigating. IF these companies followed the law, they won't be fined, even if they took advantage of loopholes. However, the government absolutely should investigate whether laws were broken, and whether certain loopoholes should be closed. Just like in the U.S., when huge corporations get out of paying taxes, it needs to be investigated, and the loopholes closed.

  • Reply 75 of 111
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    Hey guys, just FYI, this isn't the real Solipsism, it's a clone.

     

     


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismZ View Post





    You must have a very fulfilling life.



    And you obviously don't.

     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismZ View Post





    I am not impersonating anyone you blundering idiot. There is more than one, more than two usernames that include the word Solipsism.



    And you registered for this website only last month, and just by coincidence you chose that user name? What planet are you on?

  • Reply 76 of 111
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 794member
    chris_ca wrote: »
    Because they follow the laws of that country which allow them pay what they are supposed to.

    Are you suggesting Apple and other companies have broken some law to avoid taxes?

    That is not for me to decide.
  • Reply 77 of 111
    sennensennen Posts: 1,472member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JBFromOZ View Post



    one wonders when the Australian government will crackdown on tax avoidance by mining and media magnates in Australia.



    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-26/janda-tax-avoidance-name-and-shame/5478450



    Indeed. And rather than cut into the profits of their mates in mining and media, the Abbott government will instead slug consumers with 10% GST on purchases from Netflix, Airbnb, Uber etc that were previously exempt.

  • Reply 78 of 111
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 794member
    stoutie wrote: »
    Tax avoidance is completely legal. Tax evasion is illegal. You avoid paying as much tax as you can, as long as it's legal and honest. Taxes suck to begin with, and much of the money is used badly. As long as a company or individual follows THE LAW, the only thing to complain about is THE LAW, not the tax avoidance. If the law is bad, condemn the law, not those who follow it. We should all engage in tax avoidance. Anyone who doesn't is a fool. Any indictment of tax avoidance is nothing more than the pratter of fools. 

    Do you feel equally benign about people that abuse the benefits (welfare) system in your country? Do you slap them on the back and say "well done, mate. Go on, it's THE LAW"?
  • Reply 79 of 111
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    Unfortunately in both NZ and Aussie there has been several generations of families "living on the dole" - a total counter culture.
    UK too, although even longer there in some areas - their attitudes are not unlike what you've described sflagel.

    It's just one of the many benefits from living in a Social Welfare state. /s
  • Reply 80 of 111
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by elroth View Post

     



    They are investigating. IF these companies followed the law, they won't be fined, even if they took advantage of loopholes. However, the government absolutely should investigate whether laws were broken, and whether certain loopoholes should be closed. Just like in the U.S., when huge corporations get out of paying taxes, it needs to be investigated, and the loopholes closed.


     

    I think a lot of the investigation has already happened. According to newspaper articles here in Australia they embedded tax officers in these companies and watched what they were doing, and based on that they are now instituting these changes. 

     

    And the ATO has a history of retroactively applying tax law changes to people who were using a loophole to follow the letter of the law but not the spirit. So if Apple is found to be recording Australia profits against their Singapore operations they may indeed get a back-tax bill.

     

    In fact, speaking as an Apple Australia customer, when I used to rent movies on iTunes they would show up my credit card as "Apple Singapore," how blatant is that! (but they changed that a year ago at least).

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