Google to challenge ATO ruling

Google to challenge ATO ruling
Google says it will fight an Australian Taxation Office assessment of its tax bill.

Google Australia’s financial results filed on Friday show it more than doubled its net profit to $104.7 million, up from $47 million in 2015. Revenue had a similar rise, coming in at $1.141 billion for the calendar year to December 31, 2016, compared to $498 million for the previous year.

The boost in revenue has left Google with a tax bill of $32.9 million for 2016. This is more than twice the previous year’s $16 million liability.

This makes Google vulnerable to the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law, colloquially known as the “Google Tax”.

The law, which became active in January 2016, aims to stop multinational corporations shifting their revenue overseas to minimise local tax obligations.

In December, the ATO announced it was pursuing seven global businesses over $2 billion in unpaid tax. It did not name the businesses.

Google said it will challenge the ATO’s assessment.

“The company will continue to uphold its positions against any and all such claims,” Google said in a financial statement to the market.

It did not disclose how much tax the ATO was claiming.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said last month that Australia expected to claw back $2.9 billion from companies under the Google tax legislation.

 



An award winning author and journalist, commentator, lecturer, and speaker, Leon is a freelance business journalist who covers a range of areas including politics, strategy, globalization, leadership and all the big trends ahead. His main skill is summing up all the news that’s around. For the last 30 years, his main focus has been on management issues. He also produces two podcasts for RMIT University, Talking Business and Talking Technology. Leon has worked for Fairfax, News Limited, AAP and the Herald and Weekly Times.