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Memo to govt: tax revelations show government has a revenue problem, not just a spending problem

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For more information contact Jeremy Roberts on 0433 620 850 or Nick Xenophon on 0411 626 677

18 / 12 / 2015

MEMO TO GOVT: TAX REVELATIONS SHOW GOVERNMENT HAS A REVENUE PROBLEM, NOT JUST A SPENDING PROBLEM • And call for gambling giant Skycity - paying just 2.5% tax on revenue

- to contribute an extra $1m to Gamblers’ Rehabilitation Fund

Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, said the tax details revealed yesterday of 1539 of Australia’s biggest companies - many of which are foreign owned - would “be part of any future negotiations with government over their planned spending cuts, particularly in health and welfare”. “For the Government to say that there is only a spending problem, and not a revenue problem, has been blown out of the water by the revelations of how little tax some of our biggest companies pay,” said Nick.

The details revealed by the ATO as part of measures supported by Senator Xenophon, include: • Multi-national brewer SAB Miller paying zero tax on $2b income. “There is some irony in ‘big beer’ not even paying ‘small beer’ when it comes to their tax bill,” said Nick. • Nappy maker (the BabyLove brand) Unicharm Australasia Holdings Pty Ltd, bringing in

$130m in sales, with a taxable income of just $10 and tax paid of $3. “On any measure that looks like a pretty crappy result for the ATO,” said Nick. • Apple Pty Ltd paying $74m in tax - a rate of 1.2 per cent on its total Australian income of $6.1b. “This Apple is sliced in a way that only a tiny sliver of its revenue comes back to

Australia in taxes,” said Nick. • Search engine giant Google’s $357m in income led to tax payable of $9.2m - 2.6 per cent - believed to be in part due to offshoring arrangements. “If only our tax laws had as many effective hits as a Google search,” said Nick.

Senator Xenophon singled out New Zealand gambling giant Skycity - operators of the Adelaide Casino - which paid $6.8m in tax, just 2.5 per cent of its $271m in revenue and pokie machine giant IGT with $125m in income, which paid zero tax.

“It seems it’s not just the players of IGT machines that can lose their shirts, but the Government can’t even shake some loose change out of its very fat pockets,” said Nick.

Senator Xenophon called on the SA government to have Skycity pay much more to the Gamblers’ Rehabilitation Fund than the “measly” $300,000 per annum it contributes now.

“With research showing only 10-15 per cent of people harmed by gambling, Skycity is in a position to contribute much more to the rehab fund - $1m extra a year would go a long way, and still be small change for them,” said Nick.

Senator Xenophon said the figures released yesterday will have “much more weight” from 2017, when multi-national companies will be required to file much more detailed accounts, including transfer pricing arrangements. Senator Xenophon’s amendment was passed in the Senate and subsequently modified and passed after negotiations between the Government and The Greens.