Apple slashes Aussie tax bill

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Apple slashes Aussie tax bill

Apple reached record revenue in Australia last year but paid only $40 million in tax, according to the company’s local filings.

Local revenues jumped 23 percent to reach $6 billion, Apple Australia revealed in ASIC filings last week. It recorded revenue of $4.9 billion in FY2011.

Responding to Apple's low tax bill, assistant treasurer David Bradbury told the Australian Financial Review the company was one of many he believed were using offshore schemes to hide money.

Driving Apple's growth were product launches including the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and latest generation iPad, as well as the opening of several new stores

However, the company reported net profit in Australia fell from $95.4 million in FY2011 to $58.5 million in FY2012, knocking its tax bill down to $40 million, compared to $94.7 million the previous year.

It also reported increased costs in the form of sales, marketing and distribution, which increased by more than $80 million from FY2011 to $296 million. 

Globally, Apple reported first quarter revenue of $51.6 billion with net income of $12.54 billion. 

Dodging tax?

Apple has come under fire in the US where it has been accused of sheltering billions from authorities using so-called transfer-pricing. The company is alleged to have used a network of offshoots in countries to shield $US94 billion from US authorities last year, reported The Times

The scheme involves a company re-allocating charges and resources to other areas of the business to avoid paying fees in higher-taxing countries such as Australia.

Transfer-pricing is being targeted by the Australian Government, with the Tax Office employing 150 staff to work on compliance audits and reviews. 

“When some multinational corporations shirk their obligation to pay a fair share of tax in Australia, that means that other Australian companies and hard-working Australians are left to foot the bill,” Bradbury said.

Apple did not respond to request for comment by the time of publication.

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