December 18, 2019

Google forks over additional $326M to Australian Tax Office

Google, Australia Tax Office

Google paid hundreds of millions of dollars in additional Australian taxes to settle a long-running dispute with authorities there, officials said Wednesday.

The Silicon Valley giant forked over an extra AU$481.5 million, or about US$326 million, in a settlement with the country’s Taxation Office. The deal followed an audit that examined the company’s tax practices between 2008 and 2018, a Google spokeswoman told Reuters.

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Google joins big tech firms such as Apple, Facebook and Microsoft in reaching settlements with Australia’s tax office, which said it has increased its e-commerce industry collections by about AU$1.25 billion. Google said the settlement will give the company certainty for its tax treatment in the future.

“It adds to the significant success of the (tax office) in positively changing the behavior of digital taxpayers and significantly increasing the tax they pay in Australia,” Mark Konza, a deputy commissioner in the office, said in a statement.

Tech giants such as Google have reportedly drawn fire for booking profits in low-tax nations to shrink their tax bills. Amazon has faced criticism in the US for paying no federal income tax for two straight years despite earning $11.2 billion in US profits in 2018.

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Australian officials touted the so-called multinational anti-avoidance law, which aims to make multinational companies pay their share of taxes on profits earned in Australia.

“Ensuring large companies and multinationals pay the right amount of tax means we can continue to deliver the essential services Australians rely on,” Josh Frydenberg, Australia’s treasurer, said in a statement.

Source: New York Post

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