Facebook and Google paying more tax in Australia amid crackdown

Published: 22 March 2017


Facebook, Google and other multinational companies are now paying tax in Australia based on profits earned instead of shifting income to low-tax countries, Treasurer Scott Morrison said on Tuesday.

The nation will raise an additional $2 billion in tax from multinational giants in the current fiscal year because of the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law, which took effect in late 2015.

According to Mr Morrison, the government had given the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) "the power, the resources and the penalties to get the job done.”

"Facebook are now booking their Australian revenue in Australia, not in Ireland," he said.

Australian tax authorities are said to be currently conducting 71 audits involving 59 major global corporations.

The law, dubbed the "Google Tax," targets global companies with annual incomes exceeding $1 billion that use financial schemes for the principal purpose of obtaining an Australian tax benefit.

It is understood the ATO has the power to charge tax on profits diverted offshore and to fine the corporations an amount equal to the tax dodged.

When the law was proposed in early 2015, the government said there were 30 global corporations that paid little or no tax on the profits from their Australian operations.

It’s believed Facebook and Google have so far declined to comment.