Content Marketing Blog

Google under scrutiny for small tax bill

While there are a few incredibly-organised people who really enjoy tax time, the rest of us usually waste a few hours looking at the forms before even attempting to fill them out.

And while pulling teeth may seem like a lot more fun, it is important to make sure that the information you do provide is up to date and accurate.

If not you might run the risk of ending up in a similar predicament to search-giant Google, with a tax bill that according to some experts doesn't quite add up.

Figures from the Australian Tax Office and published by Fairfax media show that the digital company paid $74,176 in tax last year. In the same financial year, the company made revenues in excess of $1 billion. 

Malcolm Turnbull, opposition communications spokesperson, wrote on his personal blog that the social media industry was causing more than just a few headaches for politicians.

The member for Wentworth made it clear that Google was not the only company that was benefiting from weak tax laws.

Instead, he suggested that the digital economy was growing at a pace that was hard for policymakers to keep up with.

A move that he feels could have a negative impact on the capacity of local businesses to boost their profits in the arts and media sector.

"I am very concerned about what appears to me to be a material erosion of our tax base," he wrote (May 25).

"It is time … for Google to go beyond the pathetically defensive, 'we comply with all relevant laws and regulations' and actually state why they believe we should be indifferent to Australia's largest single advertising platform paying little or no tax here."

And while Turnbull may question Google's account keeping, the search engine maintains that it has obeyed all applicable taxation laws.

Posted by Aimee McBride