Australian Tax Office hits Apple with bill for $28.5 million in back taxes

“BusinessDay can reveal that the Australian Tax Office has hit Apple with a $28.5 million bill for back taxes, and in Europe global technology companies are under intense pressure to justify their complex ownership structures that rely heavily on tax havens,” Ben Butler and Georgia Wilkin report for The Brisbane Times.

“Paperwork filed with corporate regulators around the world reveals the Australian arms of Apple, Google and eBay form part of these structures, held at arm’s length from their US parents through intermediary companies located in tax havens,” Butler and Wilkin report. “Apple’s tax bill may be a sign that the ATO is joining the tax push led by European governments.
The French government this week demanded $US252 million ($A244 million) in back taxes from Amazon, adding to pressure on the online trader to justify its network of subsidiaries in Europe, which incorporates tax haven Luxembourg. In Britain, a public accounts committee this week grilled executives from Google UK, Amazon and Starbucks about strategies to minimise their tax in Europe.”

Butler and Wilkin report, “In Apple’s case, the Australian company is owned by Apple Operations International, a subsidiary in Cork, Ireland, which is in turned owned by Apple companies in Britain, the US and tax haven the British Virgin Islands. Google’s structure also uses Ireland, which enjoys a low corporate tax rate, in addition to tax haven Bermuda; while for eBay’s Australian-NZ company, ownership is split between companies in the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Read more in the full article here.


  1. This is why the US is in such a mess .. It is not Apple’s fault for taking advantage of the tax laws …. It is the countries fault for approving the loopholes …. Tax reform is necessary an inevitable …. You and I have to pay… Corporations want to be legally considered “persons” …. Well we persons have to pay….

  2. Hah… Such an owner structure is only logical if you want to avoid taxes so I do t think there is anything here to argue about. Apple can afford it. Amazon on the other hand, the king of low and closet to none existent margins and getting lower all the time. This will probably bankrupt them 🙂

  3. I’ll believe corporations are people when i see Texas execute one

    “You and I have to pay… Corporations want to be legally considered “persons” …. Well we persons have to pay….”

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