Apple Hit with $28.5M in Australian Back Taxes
In what’s being viewed as a step forward in cracking down on foreign tax havens, the Australian Tax Office has billed Apple for $28.5 million in back taxes, Apple Insider reported.
The Australian arm of Apple is owned by Apple Operations International located in Cork, Ireland. Many multinational companies such as Google have also set up operations in Ireland in order to take advantage of the low corporate tax rate.
According to the Brisbane Times, Ireland’s corporate tax rate is 12.5%, which Australia’s is 30%. Other tax havens include The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands, the latter two imposing no corporate tax at all.
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As more European governments have started demanding back taxes from these companies, Australia has also begun taking matters into their own hands by demanding that Apple pay up. According to the Brisbane Times’ reporting, Apple’s Australian revenue hit $4.87 billion last year, but its most recent tax bill was paid on a $190 million profit.
To make this harder for companies to pull off in the future and encourage businesses to set up shop in Australia, the federal government announced in August amendments to its transfer-pricing laws that would ensure tax obligations were not avoided through profit-sharing, said a spokesperson for the assistant treasurer.
''Australia has a mining boom, but services and technology are going to be increasingly important,'' said Professor Jason Sharman at Griffith University to the Brisbane Times.
''If you can't tax these companies at the same time as they are making squillions of dollars of profit, then either the public has to put up with much less in the way of public services, which doesn't look likely, or someone else is going to have to make up the difference.''
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.