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Microsoft, Apple cough up MEEELLIONS after Australian tax audits

Anonymous Coward

The pricing rort has gone on far too long, the ATO should have shut it down many years ago.

Now to see how much IBM is forced to cough up, as usual their spin doctors are saying "not us, we've been good", their words don't reflect their actions though. They are selling more and more virtual products, like software, Cloud and Watson, which are pure fluff (no cost to IBM, large price to customer), but much of the profits are "transfer priced" back to the mothership, and most of their labour is now in low cost countries like India, but the Australia Customers are still paying for full priced Australia resource prices, again, pure 90% profit.

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Anonymous Coward

" They are selling more and more virtual products, like software, Cloud and Watson, which are pure fluff (no cost to IBM, large price to customer), but much of the profits are "transfer priced" back to the mothership, and most of their labour is now in low cost countries like India..."

Software designed in India? That's crazy. That's like making the Windows Support Phone Guy as legit.

Back to topic, stating they sell virtual products and 'transfer priced' the profit back to the mothership doesn't seem to be problematic, unless you meant they've used loopholes to reduce the sales tax or whatever tax. Using your logic, it's like hiring an India guy to write a book and then sell it in Australia which should be taxed with the sales tax. Where's the problem here?

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AU$630 million agreed to be paid back with no penalties?

That's an obscsene amount to have (seemingly) intentionally adopted dodgy accounting practices to avoid paying.

And if they agreed to AU$630 million, you can bet the "real" figure they should have paid was substantially more.

And no penalties? Well, that's the cherry on top.

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Yes, no penalties.

Because as of yet no wrongdoing has been established. What they've done now is made an agreement to avoid a protracted procedure through the Australian courts of which the outcome is by no means certain for either party.

As to the Google statement, so what they are basically saying is 'if we have to follow the same rules as everyone our business model is untenable'. Same as Uber, for instance. This is a different matter entirely, and is essentially what the maffia does. They can't exist if they follow the rules either. This is altogether of a different magnitde, as it destroys the fabric of society itself. Which does not seem to bother our politicians.

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"because it needs to do so in order to remain competitive"

I'm Sydney and I can still smell bullshit of that statement. If that was a legitimate reason for avoiding corporate tax the others would have done the same.

Finally the ATO is getting it right, rather than go after the little guy and try to recoup a couple hundred. Target the likes of Google and others and claw back the billions that are owed.

The only problem is now that money, that should be invested in hospitals, education and infrastructure, will be blown on crap that the federal government believes will get it re-elected. <sigh>

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Anonymous Coward

Competitive with who exactly? Google are virtually a monopoly.

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Coat

My thoughts exactly. Are Google saying that if they had to pay taxes then we'd all start using Bing?

Actually, when I put it that way, maybe they should carry on...

>>> Mines the one with and Irish sandwich in the pocket, yum yum!

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Bronze badge

>>Competitive with who exactly? Google are virtually a monopoly.<<

That was exactly what I was going to say.

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They are using a different meaning of "competitive"

They are talking about competing with other stocks for investor's money to keep their share price up so stock options don't expire worthless.

Making less profit but still being wildly profitable doesn't make it any easier for competition in search/advertising to arise. But if it makes hedge funds sell their Google stock and the value falls, then executives and other employees compensated by stock options won't have the golden handcuffs keeping them at Google because they have millions coming when those options vest.

You have to use your MBA[*] to English dictionary to uncover the meaning here.

[*] Yes, I admit I have an MBA, but I don't use it for evil (i.e. not for work - these days it only serves to add letters to my resume and let me post explanations like this that wouldn't occur to the non-MBA techies who populate El Reg)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They are using a different meaning of "competitive"

Yes, I admit I have an MBA So you drive a taxi (or Uber)...

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Google should just be banned from Government Contracts state and federal till they comply, although they may not see that a big part of their biz.

although 2.0 they did just bring out Enterprise OS You Will Comply!

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cb7

About time

Way to go Aussies. Now please come to the UK and do the same here.

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Anonymous Coward

"because it needs to do so in order to remain competitive"

What a load of Possum poo that is.

Who competes on the global stage with Google? or even in Oz for that matter?

Answers please?

{aussie equivalent of tumbleweed blowing across the Great Sandy Desert.}

About time people the world over boyotted Google and other shell companies that operate (cough-cough) under the alphabet umbrella.

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Flame

Will just be in time for the pollies to waste it.

Well isn't that fortunate. They can take one year of Apple tax and use it to pay for a waste of bloody time postal survey. Shame the pollies didn't have to testicular fortitude and do what they were elected to do and vote on what 72% of the populace want and legalise Same Sex Marriage.

Guess they must be too busy watching their free and often undeclared $1,600 a year pay TV package.

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It's just business

" ... tax arrangements still used transfers between subsidiaries in Bermuda, Singapore and Ireland, becuase it needs to do so in order to remain competitive . "

And we're going to tax the bejesus out of you so Australia can stay in business, just suck it up.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's just business

Google is putting truckloads of advertising companies and media outlets and reporters out of business and it wants special tax treatment to "remain competitive" ? Please. Do no evil. Pay your taxes instead of paying dodgy accountants to minimise them.

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