Australia's transparency report shows one third of large businesses paid no tax

The big four banks were the nation's biggest taxpayers. NAB ($2.4 billion) and Westpac ($3 billion) all made substantial contributions.

Despite that, BHP paid $1.3 billion on $26.7 billion in income, Rio Tinto paid $1 billion on $27.8 billion in income, Fortescue Metals Group paid $393 million on $8.9 million in income and Hancock Prospecting paid $225 million on $1.9 billion.

"It is important to remember that corporate income tax is payable on profits, not gross income; in any given year, a significant percentage of even the largest companies make losses, not just for tax purposes, but also for accounting purposes; [and] it reflects the tax returns as lodged, and does not reflect subsequent ATO compliance activity".

News Corporation was able to reduce its Australian taxable income to zero, meaning no tax was paid.

To compare, SAP Australia reported a total income of $950.2 million and taxable income of $7.9 million, paying $965,836 in tax.

Google Australia generated AU$502 million in income locally, and paid 13 percent of its taxable income - AU$122 million - to the ATO, which totalled AU$16 million.

The report confirmed a slight increase in the number of firms who managed to avoid troubling the tax man.

The report provides data on 2,043 entities, comprised of 1,693 Australian public and foreign-owned companies with an income of at least AUS 100 million (USD 75.12 million) and 350 Australian-owned resident private companies with an income of AUS $200 million (USD 150.24 million) or more.

Australia's statutory corporate tax rate is 30 per cent, a rate the government wants to reduce to 25 per cent.

Nokia Solutions and Networks Australia, meanwhile, paid $18,575 in tax from taxable income of $3.1 million and total income of $202.1 million, also less than the 30 per cent standard rate.

In the latest report, Hewlett Packard is not listed, but Dimension Data, with a total income again of AU$1.2 billion, did not report a taxable income, and therefore did not pay tax during the 2015-16 financial year either.

Seven West Media paid $53.5 million on a taxable income of $199 million.



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