Google Australia paid $133m in tax in 2019 in main victory for ATO | Expertise

Google’s Australian arm paid $133m to the Taxation Workplace final yr because it caught up with again taxes.

The corporate, one of many ATO’s most high-profile targets in a marketing campaign to get tech giants to pay tax in Australia, declared a revenue earlier than tax of $134m in 2019, down from $156m the earlier yr.

Its outcomes had been filed on Thursday as Google resisted strikes by the competitors watchdog to pressure it and Fb to pay for information content material beneath a mandatory code.

Earlier this month Google Australia’s managing director, Mel Silva, hit again in opposition to the concept, saying in a prolonged weblog put up that the snippets of articles Google shows in search outcomes had been similar to posters outside newsagents.

Google Australia’s monetary accounts, filed on Thursday, present the corporate’s revenue decline got here regardless of a rise in income from about $1bn to $1.2bn.

The corporate obtained a tax invoice of $59m final yr, however it additionally recorded an “adjustment” for tax in earlier years that value it a further $50m.

Variations between when Google Australia recognised taxes had been payable and once they had been paid are believed to account for the remainder of the money despatched to the ATO.

Firm accounts present that since 2017, when Google Australia started paying massive quantities of tax, it has handed greater than $450m to the ATO.

Against this, as not too long ago as 2015 Google Australia claimed to have income of simply $500m a yr, and was paying tax of some million a yr.

In a transfer that outraged the ATO, it previously claimed gross sales made to Australian prospects took place in Singapore.

The tax turnaround is a significant victory for the ATO, and follows a multi-year marketing campaign to pressure multinationals to pay extra tax launched by then-treasurer Joe Hockey and spearheaded by tax commissioner Chris Jordan.

The corporate stated it had invested $1bn in beefing up its Australian operation.

In notes to the accounts, Google Australia additionally stated the coronavirus pandemic had precipitated a “international market disruption”.

“The longer term influence of the present financial scenario is unsure and troublesome to foretell,” it stated.