Google Australia gets cash injection after tax stoush

The settlement was part of the ATO’s pursuit of technology companies under the multinational anti-avoidance taxation laws, announced by then treasurer Joe Hockey in 2015. Authorities have netted $1.25 billion and reached settlements with Microsoft, Apple and Facebook.

Google’s tax deal follows a $1.5 billion settlement with French tax authorities in September.

Google has also been forced to change its accounting methods, having previously billed Australian customers through a branch in Singapore — minimising its tax bill.

At the time, deputy tax commissioner Mark Konza said the settlement was “another great outcome” and would add “to the significant success of the ATO in positively changing the behaviour of digital taxpayers and significantly increasing the tax they pay in Australia”.

Google declined to respond to questions about whether the injection of money from the parent company would be used to manage the ATO settlement. In a statement, the company said it had received additional capital for use in its Australian operations and offices.

The latest accounts show Google Australia booked $4.3 billion in billings over the past two years but paid $3.3 billion as “service fees” to the company’s overseas subsidiaries.

It paid $50 million in tax over that period, the accounts show.


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