Apple asked to pay hundreds of millions in back taxes in Australia in wide-reaching probe

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple is reportedly one of seven multinationals the Australian Taxation Office has asked to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in back taxes, accusing the corporations of using tactics like "debt dumping" and moving profits offshore to avoid obligations.




Other targeted companies include Microsoft, Google, BHP Billiton, and Rio Tinto, according to Daily Telegraph sources. Collectively the group are said to owe A$2.9 billion -- it's not clear how much Apple might have to pay, but individual bills are said to range between A$250 million and A$800 million.

The ATO is meanwhile said to be preparing audits of many other large businesses, some examples being Singtel, Crown, Shell, Chevron, and Glencore.

The Office's commissioner, Mark Konza, wouldn't confirm the companies involved but said that the government has had a taskforce of over 1,000 people looking into avoidance by multinationals.

He has also reportedly flown to Silicon Valley twice to warn companies in person, and after sending the recent bills, was contacted immediately by three firms. One of them has flown a tax team to Australia for negotiations.

While Apple's response is so far unknown, the ATO said that while it expects some corporations to settle, it's prepared for others to pursue cases at the country's Federal Court.

Apple has been accused of using tax avoidance schemes in several parts of the globe, most notably in Ireland, which the European Commission has asked to collect some $13.8 billion in back taxes. Both Apple and the Irish government are appealing the ruling.

Another report recently noted that Apple has paid no income taxes in New Zealand for the last 10 years, and in fact chosen to pay that money in Australia, where the New Zealand division's parent company is based.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,010member
    Looks like the banking industry is exerting its pull to get at Apple any way it can. I have to wonder if this is something new that the Australian government is just now waking up to. I also wonder how much the banks are taxed, that's before their obvious deductions for political contributions (commonly called brides in the US).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,938member
    Okay, so we have the Australian government lawsuit over the ‘Error 53’ issue, the big Australian banks wanting to force Apple to let them use TouchID for their own purposes, and now an Australian tax avoidance lawsuit coming if Apple doesn’t comply. Sounds like coordinated attacks to me. I wonder what’s behind all of this.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 27
    MikeymikeMikeymike Posts: 102member
    Just show what tax law they broke. Then throw the book at them.
    jbdragonSpamSandwich
  • Reply 4 of 27
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,438member
    It's not about Apple.
    The "targeted companies include Microsoft, Google, BHP Billiton, and Rio Tinto"

    Apple isn't even in the source article's headline. That company would be Rio Tinto.  Apple is just thrown in with those other companies mentioned. 
    edited April 2017 ronn[Deleted User]avon b7SpamSandwichjony0
  • Reply 5 of 27
    2old4fun2old4fun Posts: 219member
    Tax laws are written to both bring in revenue and avoid hurting our "friends that have special needs" and then scream when others use the "loop-holes" in ways that the authors of the law did not think about.
    missiongreyjbdragon
  • Reply 6 of 27
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,114member
    "Apple has paid all the taxes it owes by law (and uses every possible loophole, evasion technique, accounting skill, etc.)"

    Kill the loopholes.  Stop this mess.  
    jbdragonSpamSandwichmac_dog
  • Reply 7 of 27
    If they stopped making loopholes for their buddies to exploit, then they wouldn't have to constantly claw back a fraction of the amount owed. Additionally if they want to be competitive, then they shouldn't play a game of bait-n-switch with their tax laws.
    missiongreyjbdragonjony0
  • Reply 8 of 27
    uroshnoruroshnor Posts: 80member
    lkrupp said:
    Okay, so we have the Australian government lawsuit over the ‘Error 53’ issue, the big Australian banks wanting to force Apple to let them use TouchID for their own purposes, and now an Australian tax avoidance lawsuit coming if Apple doesn’t comply. Sounds like coordinated attacks to me. I wonder what’s behind all of this.
    The banks lost the NFC access lawsuit (as they should have)

    Under Australian tax law, you need to comply with the intent , not just the letter of the tax code, and the tax office can effectively retrospectively change the law. 

    Essentially, the ATO is taking the position that transfer pricing between subsidiaries , is used to reduce tax, and shift taxable income to low tax jurisdictions . They are hitting up lots of companies , of which Apple is one - including g Australian companies that do the same thing.

    The ACCC position is very clear , and the consumer protection law in Australia is pretty strong . All the good stuff Apple does doesn't count as credit for the handful of things they do that are wrong or illegal 
    [Deleted User]avon b7ronnsteveau
  • Reply 9 of 27
    ronnronn Posts: 322member
    gatorguy said:
    It's not about Apple.
    The "targeted companies include Microsoft, Google, BHP Billiton, and Rio Tinto"

    Apple isn't even in the source article's headline. That company would be Rio Tinto.  Apple is just thrown in with those other companies mentioned. 

    You're being level-headed and unbiased. Heads will explode here. 
    [Deleted User]avon b7singularitywatto_cobrasteveau
  • Reply 10 of 27
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,561member
    If they stopped making loopholes for their buddies to exploit, then they wouldn't have to constantly claw back a fraction of the amount owed. Additionally if they want to be competitive, then they shouldn't play a game of bait-n-switch with their tax laws.
    That is precisely the problem. 

    Osborne, our previous chancellor, was using the same off-shore loopholes as the companies he was insulting in the press. 

    Yes they should close the loopholes, but they haven't found a way to exempt themselves yet. 
    StrangeDaysjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 27
    noelosnoelos Posts: 102member
    rob53 said:
    Looks like the banking industry is exerting its pull to get at Apple any way it can. I have to wonder if this is something new that the Australian government is just now waking up to. I also wonder how much the banks are taxed, that's before their obvious deductions for political contributions (commonly called brides in the US).
    This has been a controversial topic for a decade in Australia. The wheels of government turn slowly but there was always going to be some comeuppance.
    ronn
  • Reply 12 of 27
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 788member
    rob53 said:
    Looks like the banking industry is exerting its pull to get at Apple any way it can. I have to wonder if this is something new that the Australian government is just now waking up to. I also wonder how much the banks are taxed, that's before their obvious deductions for political contributions (commonly called brides in the US).
    Really it's banks collecting taxes? Please explains this. 
    ronn
  • Reply 13 of 27
    stevehsteveh Posts: 480member
    spice-boy said:
    rob53 said:
    Looks like the banking industry is exerting its pull to get at Apple any way it can. I have to wonder if this is something new that the Australian government is just now waking up to. I also wonder how much the banks are taxed, that's before their obvious deductions for political contributions (commonly called brides in the US).
    Really it's banks collecting taxes? Please explains this. 
    Of course banks don't collect taxes. They just use their financial pull to induce government to put pressure on their competition, or exert leverage on one entity or other that they've otherwise been unable to force to do what the bank wants done.

    This was old when Hector was a pup, which is to say as far back as anyone anywhere started working deals to make some sort of profit. Surely you didn't miss the memo?
    rob53StrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 27
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 788member
    lkrupp said:
    Okay, so we have the Australian government lawsuit over the ‘Error 53’ issue, the big Australian banks wanting to force Apple to let them use TouchID for their own purposes, and now an Australian tax avoidance lawsuit coming if Apple doesn’t comply. Sounds like coordinated attacks to me. I wonder what’s behind all of this.
    Poor poor Apple, what ever will they do?
    ronn
  • Reply 15 of 27
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,438member
    steveh said:
    spice-boy said:
    rob53 said:
    Looks like the banking industry is exerting its pull to get at Apple any way it can. I have to wonder if this is something new that the Australian government is just now waking up to. I also wonder how much the banks are taxed, that's before their obvious deductions for political contributions (commonly called brides in the US).
    Really it's banks collecting taxes? Please explains this. 
    Of course banks don't collect taxes. They just use their financial pull to induce government to put pressure on their competition, or exert leverage on one entity or other that they've otherwise been unable to force to do what the bank wants done.

    This was old when Hector was a pup, which is to say as far back as anyone anywhere started working deals to make some sort of profit. Surely you didn't miss the memo?
    Apple can apply pressure with the best of them. When you are the richest company on the planet it does come with it's perks. IMHO Apple usually comes out on the plus side and generally gets what they want. When that rare occasion happens where Apple just can't successfully convince a decision maker to fall on their side it becomes news here as it's such an outlier. 
    ronn
  • Reply 16 of 27
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 788member

    steveh said:
    spice-boy said:
    rob53 said:
    Looks like the banking industry is exerting its pull to get at Apple any way it can. I have to wonder if this is something new that the Australian government is just now waking up to. I also wonder how much the banks are taxed, that's before their obvious deductions for political contributions (commonly called brides in the US).
    Really it's banks collecting taxes? Please explains this. 
    Of course banks don't collect taxes. They just use their financial pull to induce government to put pressure on their competition, or exert leverage on one entity or other that they've otherwise been unable to force to do what the bank wants done.

    This was old when Hector was a pup, which is to say as far back as anyone anywhere started working deals to make some sort of profit. Surely you didn't miss the memo?
    So the Federal Reserve in the US is controlled by the banks or gets pressured into doing things by banks?

    Until very recently we had laws put in place to stop banks from reverting to their natural base instincts which are to scam their investors, make outlandish investments and screw their customers. 
    singularityronn
  • Reply 17 of 27
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,821member
    spice-boy said:
    lkrupp said:
    Okay, so we have the Australian government lawsuit over the ‘Error 53’ issue, the big Australian banks wanting to force Apple to let them use TouchID for their own purposes, and now an Australian tax avoidance lawsuit coming if Apple doesn’t comply. Sounds like coordinated attacks to me. I wonder what’s behind all of this.
    Poor poor Apple, what ever will they do?
    They'll fight for what's right as they should. From the sounds, they never broke the law. Same goes for other countries, including the US. If there was a way for you to store your money offshore and avoid taxes on it you'd do it too. Don't lie...you'd do it too! It's called a loophole and until these get closed up, any company will continue to do this. You can't have loopholes and only allow certain buddy companies to use them and then cry foul when a big company such as Apple is funneling millions (billions?) of revenue through this loophole. Its all or nothing. 

    As far as the big banks there go, well there are banks there that are fully supporting Apple Pay so its only a matter of time before the ones that are trying to be bullies and take control of TouchID are forced to comply or risk losing more customers. I've read here and other places where more and more Australians are switching banks to ones that support Apple Pay so its already happening. 


    edited April 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 27
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,010member
    spice-boy said:

    steveh said:
    spice-boy said:
    rob53 said:
    Looks like the banking industry is exerting its pull to get at Apple any way it can. I have to wonder if this is something new that the Australian government is just now waking up to. I also wonder how much the banks are taxed, that's before their obvious deductions for political contributions (commonly called brides in the US).
    Really it's banks collecting taxes? Please explains this. 
    Of course banks don't collect taxes. They just use their financial pull to induce government to put pressure on their competition, or exert leverage on one entity or other that they've otherwise been unable to force to do what the bank wants done.

    This was old when Hector was a pup, which is to say as far back as anyone anywhere started working deals to make some sort of profit. Surely you didn't miss the memo?
    So the Federal Reserve in the US is controlled by the banks or gets pressured into doing things by banks?

    Until very recently we had laws put in place to stop banks from reverting to their natural base instincts which are to scam their investors, make outlandish investments and screw their customers. 
    This article has nothing to do with US banks, only Australian ones. The US has its own problems with banks, insurance companies, and its own government but that's not the subject of this article. From what Australian commenters have said, the big Australian banks basically control a lot of the government, just like Samsung controls the South Korean government. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 27
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,283member
    eriamjh said:
    "Apple has paid all the taxes it owes by law (and uses every possible loophole, evasion technique, accounting skill, etc.)"

    Kill the loopholes.  Stop this mess.  
    You're missing the point -- those who write the laws use the loopholes. That's why the loopholes exist. The public outcry campaigns are selective. 
    edited April 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 27
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,283member

    spice-boy said:

    steveh said:
    spice-boy said:
    rob53 said:
    Looks like the banking industry is exerting its pull to get at Apple any way it can. I have to wonder if this is something new that the Australian government is just now waking up to. I also wonder how much the banks are taxed, that's before their obvious deductions for political contributions (commonly called brides in the US).
    Really it's banks collecting taxes? Please explains this. 
    Of course banks don't collect taxes. They just use their financial pull to induce government to put pressure on their competition, or exert leverage on one entity or other that they've otherwise been unable to force to do what the bank wants done.

    This was old when Hector was a pup, which is to say as far back as anyone anywhere started working deals to make some sort of profit. Surely you didn't miss the memo?
    So the Federal Reserve in the US is controlled by the banks or gets pressured into doing things by banks?

    Until very recently we had laws put in place to stop banks from reverting to their natural base instincts which are to scam their investors, make outlandish investments and screw their customers. 
    Who advises the president and congress on how to regulate banks and shape US fiscal policy? Bankers. This is fact. 
    watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.