Apple might be 'named and shamed' in Australia for avoiding taxes

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2015
Apple, Google and other large multinational corporations conducting operations in Australia might soon see their annual tax payments made public as a result of a government inquiry into corporate tax dodgers.




An Australian Senate committee investigating corporate tax avoidance is set to present transparency proposals on Monday that are expected to include a "name and shame" register for tax-dodging companies, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. Also on the table will be mandatory disclosures of of tax payments over a certain limit, thought to be set at AU$100 million.

"There is a major flaw in our tax system that is enabling some of the biggest companies in the world to evade billions in tax that should be paid in Australia," said Senator Sam Dastyari​. "It's time we name and shame our worst tax dodgers."

The forthcoming report is the result of an Australian government investigation first revealed in April, which put Apple, Google and Microsoft under review for questionable tax practices. One month later, the "crackdown" was widened to30 companies. Specifically, corporations are accused of shifting profits to offshore subsidiaries registered in countries with lower tax rates.

The report will reportedly come with 18 recommendations, which include the transparency measures alongside proposed annual disclosures of Australian revenue, tax payments, tax deductions and government write-offs.

According to the publication, one of four measures incorporated incorporated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission would allow that body to communicate suspicious tax activity to the Australian Tax Office without first consulting the company in question. Currently, legal standards require the ASIC inform the target corporation of such matters.

Apple is well known for its ability to funnel massive amounts of cash through friendly tax regions with little to no tax implications. As it pertains to Australia, Apple is currently thought to be moving profits through a subsidiary called Apple South Asia Pte Ltd. in Singapore, where it reportedly managed to negotiate a ten-year tax incentive plan rumored to be below five percent.

Other corporations based in high-tax countries like the U.S., including many multinational tech firms, participate in similar practices, though Apple is consistently singled out due to its high-profile public image.

In 2014, a report discovered Apple offloaded some AU$8 billion out of Australia tax free using the "Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich" accounting method from 2002 to 2013. Australia, however, has a history of leveling heavy fines for suspected tax dodgers and in 2012 charged Apple with $28.5 million in back taxes.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 96
    This is getting old. Sue Apple if it's done something illegal, or fix you tax codes: in other words do YOUR jobs.
  • Reply 2 of 96
    If Apple is acting within the law, I'd call it "Name and fame" -- good job for maximizing shareholder value within the laws of each country.
  • Reply 3 of 96
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,328member
    So you're saying that it's a "major our in our tax system" but then you blame and shame someone else? Fix your damn tax code if you don't like it.

    My guess is these governments set up these loopholes for corporate or self-serving interest and are butthurt that multinationals are using it.
  • Reply 4 of 96
    mubailimubaili Posts: 385member
    jkichline wrote: »
    So you're saying that it's a "major our in our tax system" but then you blame and shame someone else? Fix your damn tax code if you don't like it.

    My guess is these governments set up these loopholes for corporate or self-serving interest and are butthurt that multinationals are using it.
    Well, I guess the economy is not doing too well now that China is slowing down. The Australia govt needs to find whatever way they can get their hands on any money. Shame on the govt.
  • Reply 5 of 96
    Tiny brains, tiny markets, tiny .... This is typical for the Australian and New Zealand government and culture. They love to blame the US and denigrate its success, but their corporate and government leaders are some of the most corrupt in the world. They make their own corrupt laws and selectively 'enforce' them for political advantage. Most of this has to do with manoeuvring for advantage on the sidelines of TPP anyway.
  • Reply 6 of 96
    I always pay more taxes than I'm legally required to. We all do, right? Shame on anybody, or any corporation, that figures out a way to pay less. Politicians shouldn't have to be bothered with writing laws. They are busy extorting campaign contributions.
  • Reply 7 of 96
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,215member
    Good. They all should be exposed. If they want the rights of people allowing them to lobby they deserve the responsibilities and penalties.
  • Reply 8 of 96
    Other corporations based in high-tax countries like the U.S., including many multinational tech firms, participate in similar practices, though Apple is consistently singled out due to its high-profile public image.
    Even more than public image; it's that large pile of cash that attracts politician/lawyers.
    "There's gotta be some damn way we can get our mitts on some of dat loot!"
  • Reply 9 of 96
    jessijessi Posts: 302member

    There's nothing shameful about not giving money to violent war mongers to use it to blow up brown people around the planet.

  • Reply 10 of 96
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 650member
    "There is a major flaw in our tax system that is enabling some of the biggest companies in the world to evade billions in tax that should be paid in Australia," said Senator Sam Dastyari?.

    they're paying what is allowed by law. if you're going to point the finger, point it at yourself. fix the fucking loopholes, assholes. that goes for the entire u.s. government, as well.
  • Reply 11 of 96
    I would not put Apple on the list. How can you evade when there is a flaw in the system. Should Apple be paying more than is required?
  • Reply 12 of 96
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,102member
    "There is a major flaw in our tax system that is enabling some of the biggest companies in the world to evade billions in tax that should be paid in Australia," said Senator Sam Dastyari?. "It's time we name and shame our worst tax dodgers."

    Then fix your tax-system. Don't blame companies for being legal when it is government incompetence that is to blame and shame.
  • Reply 13 of 96
    Who cares about the naming and shaming. As though it matters one whit for Apple or Google or Microsoft.

    If these countries (including the U.S.) can't fix their own tax problems, they can wallow in it.
  • Reply 14 of 96
    Even more than public image; it's that large pile of cash that attracts politician/lawyers.
    "There's gotta be some damn way we can get our mitts on some of dat loot!"
    True. That cash on the balance sheet is more of a liability than the equivalent amount of debt.
  • Reply 15 of 96
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    Who cares about the naming and shaming. As though it matters one whit for Apple or Google or Microsoft.



    If these countries (including the U.S.) can't fix their own tax problems, they can wallow in it.



    It matters to the senators and their constituents in Australia, and their comrades in New Zealand. Once the report is released, the Murdoch-controlled media in Australia (his empire owns more than half of it) will run this story into the ground in support of Abbot and the Liberals - as a diversion. At the moment, Tony Abbott and his party are weak and vulnerable, and this is an easy distraction. They have come under fire for the budget and for slashing government programs and spending (Australia is a huge nanny state), and for killing off major tax revenue sources (levied on their major contributors/ constituents) such as the carbon tax. 

     

    If all sides of the Australian parliament (Liberals, Labour and Greens) agree on an easy target to increase revenue (yes, all those "rich" American corporations like Apple), it would be a political win-win that all sides could agree on.

  • Reply 16 of 96

    I guess all politicians are same every where. Australia, if your tax system is broken the shame is on you and not on the MNC. America, If you don't want your companies to protect their earned money in some foreign land - Fix your tax system so that companies don't have to stuff it somewhere else, legally!

  • Reply 17 of 96
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,971member
    I always pay more taxes than I'm legally required to. We all do, right? Shame on anybody, or any corporation, that figures out a way to pay less. Politicians shouldn't have to be bothered with writing laws. They are busy extorting campaign contributions.
    if you pay more taxes than you're legally required, you do it wrong. In fact, no one wants to pay more taxes. That's why we need tax experts to figure out the way to pay least taxes. It's my money. Why the fck do I want to pay more?
  • Reply 18 of 96
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    jkichline wrote: »
    So you're saying that it's a "major our in our tax system" but then you blame and shame someone else? Fix your damn tax code if you don't like it.

    My guess is these governments set up these loopholes for corporate or self-serving interest and are butthurt that multinationals are using it.

    That's what's happening. The politicians and the home grown corporations funding them are all using the same loopholes to avoid tax.
  • Reply 19 of 96
    fallenjt wrote: »
    I always pay more taxes than I'm legally required to. We all do, right? Shame on anybody, or any corporation, that figures out a way to pay less. Politicians shouldn't have to be bothered with writing laws. They are busy extorting campaign contributions.
    if you pay more taxes than you're legally required, you do it wrong. In fact, no one wants to pay more taxes. That's why we need tax experts to figure out the way to pay least taxes. It's my money. Why the fck do I want to pay more?

    You really did not figure that Nostra Thomas was being sarcastic!?
  • Reply 20 of 96
    red rogers wrote: »


    It matters to the senators and their constituents in Australia, and their comrades in New Zealand. Once the report is released, the Murdoch-controlled media in Australia (his empire owns more than half of it) will run this story into the ground in support of Abbot and the Liberals - as a diversion. At the moment, Tony Abbott and his party are weak and vulnerable, and this is an easy distraction. They have come under fire for the budget and for slashing government programs and spending (Australia is a huge nanny state), and for killing off major tax revenue sources (levied on their major contributors/ constituents) such as the carbon tax. 

    If all sides of the Australian parliament (Liberals, Labour and Greens) agree on an easy target to increase revenue (yes, all those "rich" American corporations like Apple), it would be a political win-win that all sides could agree on.

    Ah, the irony.

    Meanwhile, where is News Corp headquartered, and I wonder, how much do they pay in taxes in Australia?
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