The top tech players that paid zero Aussie tax in 2015-16

Mae Love
December 8, 2017

The ATO report lists over 2,400 Australian public and foreign-owned corporate tax entities with a total income of AU$100 million or more, as well as Australian-owned resident private companies with a total income of AU$200 million or more.

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch.

IBM A/NZ, ASG Group, Citrix Systems Asia Pacific, Canon, Schneider Electric and Atlassian Australia were among the top earning technology companies in Australia that paid zero tax while still reporting taxable income in the financial year ending 2016.

One of the nation's most prominent media companies, News Corp Australia, declared $2.9 billion in income but did not pay a cent in tax.

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

Datacom Australia Holdings reported taxable income of $11.4 million off the back of $432 million, and paid just over $2.4 million.

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

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The Commonwealth was the biggest taxpayer, paying $3.3 billion on total income of $42.7 billion.

To compare, SAP Australia reported a total income of $950.2 million and taxable income of $7.9 million, paying $965,836 in tax.

Google paid $16 million in tax on a taxable income of $122 million while claiming it earned $502 million in income. "Even companies with very high total income sometimes make losses. there are many legitimate reasons why this might be the case".

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.

In the latest report, Hewlett Packard is not listed, but Dimension Data, with a total income again of AU$1.2 billion, did not report a taxable income, and therefore did not pay tax during the 2015-16 financial year either.

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

Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn said that 2015-16 saw a significant drop in profitability of energy and resources companies, a sector where company profits are highly dependent on commodity prices.

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