IBM, Atlassian paid no taxes in 2018 despite billions in revenue

Australian Taxation Office releases latest Corporate Tax Transparency report.

Australian currency / money / banknotes / dollars
Brodie Miller (CC0)

IBM A/NZ and Atlassian Australia paid no taxes for the 2017-18 financial year according to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Corporate Tax Transparency report.

Atlassian Australia reported more than $1 billion of total income and $138 million of taxable income. IBM had reported income of more than $3 billion and $22.8 million in taxable income.

(As reported by ZDNet, IBM closed the financial year ended 31 December 2018 with net profit of $119 million and paid $52 million in taxes.)

The Corporate Tax Transparency report was first published in 2015. The data in it is taken directly from the tax returns of public and foreign-owned entities with total income of $100 million or more and Australian-owned resident private entities with total income of $200 million or more.

The report also lists entities whose information was not available by the cut-off date of 1 September each year.

It's important to note that the non-payment of taxes can be explained by losses suffered during the year and offsets such as R&D incentives. This year's report included 2246 companies.

Publicly listed Afterpay Touch made $126 million with $19.6 million of taxable income but didn't pay tax; however company results show that it closed the 2018 financial year at a $9 million loss.

DXC Technology Australia had total income of $1.2 billion but there is no data regarding its taxable income or taxes. As reported by ARN, the company closed the year ended 31 March 2018 with a $102 million loss.

NBN Co posted $2 billion income but no taxes were paid. The government-owned company closed 2018 at a $4.8 million loss.

Meanwhile SAP reported income of $1.2 billion but there is no data as to its taxable income or whether it paid taxes. The same applies to NEC Australia, which had a total income of $436 million.

Vodafone Hutchinson Australia had enjoyed income of $3.5 billion, but as previously reported, the publicly listed telecommunications provider closed the year ended 31 December 2018 with a loss of $124 million.

Other companies that paid no taxes include co-location operator NextDC, which had total taxable income of $162 million and reported $11 million net profit before tax for that year and $6.6 million after paying $4.3 million in taxes; however the ATO report does not include all those figures.

NTT Australia made $199 million but no taxes were paid. Unisys reported $243 million in income but didn't pay any tax.

Companies that paid taxes include Accenture ($31.4 million in paid taxes), Amazon Web Services ($6.6 million), Apple ($120.7 million), Cisco Systems Australia ($66 million), and Citrix Systems APAC ($4 million).

Micro Focus Australia, reported under Entco Australia, paid $2.2 million in taxes, while Equinix Australia paid $6 million, Facebook paid $12.7 million and Global Switch $4.7 million.

Google Australia reported $1 billion income and $188 million of taxable income; however its paid taxes fell short of the 30 per cent tax rate, with the company forking out $37.1 million.

Infosys also paid well below the 30 per cent rate, with a taxable income of $180 million but paying only $33.4 million in taxes.

Publicly listed software vendor TechnologyOne had total taxable income of $97 million but paid only $10 million in taxes.

Hewlett Packard South Pacific paid $1.3 million in taxes even though the company's income was $1.3 billion. Telstra paid $1.5 billion and TPG Telecom paid $163 million.

Huawei paid $25 million, Lenovo A/NZ paid $5.3 million, Macquarie Telecom $7.7 million, Microsoft Datacentre paid $29.5 million and Microsoft $61 million.

Vocus Group paid $25.3 million in taxes and ZTE paid $1 million.

Computerworld has reached out to Atlassian, IBM, DXC Technology and NEC for comment.

The full list can be accessed here.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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