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In Australia, Google Pays Just $74k Tax On Claimed Revenues of $200 Million

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the avoidance-vs-evasion dept.

Google 345

daria42 writes "Looks like Apple isn't the only company with interesting offshore taxation practices. The financial statements for Google's Australian subsidiary show the company told the Australian Government it made just $200 million in revenue in 2011 in Australia, despite local industry estimating it actually brought in closer to $1 billion. The rest was funnelled through Google's Irish subsidiary and not disclosed in Australia. Consequently the company only disclosed taxation costs in Australia of $74,000. Not bad work if you can get it — which Google apparently can."

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Taxes suck. (4, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899307)

This is just part of the campaign to tar Google with any brush they can. Read this. [thedailybeast.com]

Re:Taxes suck. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899339)

The problem is that corporations are allowed to give to politicians and that lobbying isn't required to be done via means that are available for viewing by the public. I wonder how much would change if the public had a right to go through the communications between lobbyists and politicians and see what deals were being made.

Re:Taxes suck. (5, Informative)

Kotakee (2632245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899399)

Google was one of the first companies to appear on Slashdot on these shady tax practices. I find it pretty funny that Slashdotters don't remember it and now there's been several stories about Apple and Microsoft doing it.

Seriously, http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/10/21/1627220/how-google-avoided-paying-60-billion-in-taxes [slashdot.org] . Back in 2010.

Google only pays a 2.4% tax rate using money-funneling techniques known as the 'Double Irish' and the 'Dutch Sandwich,' even though the US corporate income tax is 35%. By using Irish loopholes, money is transferred legally between subsidiaries and ends up in island sanctuaries that have no income tax, giving Google the lowest tax rate amongst its technology peers. Facebook is planning to use the same strategy.

Re:Taxes suck. (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899629)

Google makes their money with local ads. It's not unreasonable to expect that they pay local tax rates for local ads in Taiwan bought by local Taiwan businesses and served from local Taiwan servers. That is entirely different from making your software in Redmond, WA, licensing it through a Nevada puppet corporation and then laundering the money through the double-Dutch or Blind Irish mechanisms of financial wizardry to make the profit happen offshore when that same software is sold from Khazakstan to Bangalore, and all the points between.

Re:Taxes suck. (2, Insightful)

Kotakee (2632245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899727)

Google makes their money with local ads. It's not unreasonable to expect that they pay local tax rates for local ads in Taiwan bought by local Taiwan businesses and served from local Taiwan servers.

Exactly. That is what Google is avoiding. Did you even read the whole thing? It's Google that is using the Double Irish tax trickery to funnel money out of the countries they generate income in.

Re:Taxes suck. (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899749)

They broke Amazon.

They'll either break Google (10% tax on gross income) or force Google to make massive political contributions (aka blackmail) like they did for Microsoft.

Re:Taxes suck. (0)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899821)

Seriously, Amazon is messed up. I could break Amazon and I'm not skilled in that art. Amazon is likely to break themselves by accident.

Re:Taxes suck. (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899741)

I would agree with you if google was actually paying local taxes, the whole point of the article is they DON'T, they funnel money through tax havens to avoid paying tax on locally earned money in countries such as Australia and the US. Str

Re:Taxes suck. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899729)

How the fuck is it "shady" if they are operating within the law? You break the law more in your car fiddling with your cd player than Google does paying what they do in taxes. Get a life, dude.

Re:Taxes suck. (2)

Kotakee (2632245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899805)

That's exactly why I said it's shady. Legally speaking they aren't doing anything wrong. Morally, and what people think about the practice, they sure as hell are. Especially when they jabber about the whole "Don't be evil" thing...

Re:Taxes suck. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899839)

No, it is not shady. The only people "thinking" it's wrong are idiots like you. Get a clue, jerk. They didn't do anything wrong and they aren't being evil. So you stop jabbering, idiot.

Re:Taxes suck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899877)

Sergei? is that you?

Re:Taxes suck. (5, Insightful)

Kotakee (2632245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899893)

Just because they didn't break the law doesn't mean they didn't do wrong. There is a difference. For example all those Nigerian scams are actually legal because their law says you can cheat people who break laws. But would you really say that those Nigerian scams are objectively and morally right things to do? I don't think so. Likewise, Google has not done anything legally wrong. Their actions, however, are morally wrong.

And no, there is no easy solution to this. The ultimate reason why we need these are to allow companies in other countries to do business with companies in another. However, then we have jerks like Google who abuse this by setting up shell companies to take advantage of it and avoid taxes. Again, legally ok, but not morally.

Re:Taxes suck. (1)

Jessified (1150003) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899755)

They should have to use a proportional amount of infrastructure in the country where they claim they make their money. Particularly for multinationals, taxes should have less to do with how much they make and more to do on how much of the infrastructure they use in a country.

Actually, why not just eliminate corporate tax altogether, and just charge them to use any local infrastructure. Want employees? Back pay their education and health care. Want to move goods? You pay for the roadways you use. etc.

You pay where you want to do business.

Re:Taxes suck. (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899579)

The problem is even deeper than that. Some of our best minds are working on it, but they have no solution yet.

Re:Taxes suck. (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899679)

No, the problem is that most people are ignorant. And there's no help for it. Most people are (less informed) than us and that's not going to change. Our world is ruled by people who don't even understand what's happening to them, or why. Once you understand that, your mission is clear.

Re:Taxes suck. (2)

Jessified (1150003) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899743)

But even then, how is $74,000 tax on $200 million justifiable. Even after all the funneling.

Lawyers not Politicians (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899787)

Actually I'd say that here the problem is more to do with lawyers than politicians. Even if you had good politicians lawyers are getting so good at finding and exploiting loop holes that you would be in a constant cycle of patch followed by crack as lawyers attempt to "jailbreak" a company's profits into low tax countries.

I beg to differ (4, Insightful)

happyhamster (134378) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899411)

"Taxes are the price we pay for civilization."

    -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Re:I beg to differ (-1, Flamebait)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899487)

"Taxes are the price we pay for civilization."

Does this mean that 100% taxation, like in old USSR, would be the ultimate civilization? USSR confiscated all the labor of workers, and instead paid them subsistence money that had no relation to the contribution of each specific worker.

The USA is doing its best to repeat this experiment by taxing every worker to death, but when the said worker refuses to work on those conditions then he becomes eligible for a small government handout (just so his dead body in the street does not offend anyone's sensibilities.) In the end nobody will be working.

Corporations like MS, Apple and Google don't help, of course. They can afford the technology to do these tricks. As result the US taxpayer is burdened with even more taxes, accelerating the crash.

Re:I beg to differ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899543)

It doesn't have to be 100%. I'd settle for the old 80-92% (1940s-1970s) rate of the USA during its middle class prime: Affordable Suburban living, Cars, Jobs, a decent place to live, you know... before we lowered the taxes on the wealthy to 30% and let the national debt skyrocket (Reagan).

Re:I beg to differ (1, Informative)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899609)

It doesn't have to be 100%. I'd settle for the old 80-92%

The tax rate for a common man was never higher than 25% [wikipedia.org] . To get taxed above 80% you had to be a billionaire or something.

But don't forget that not only IRS wants to suck your blood. There are state taxes and city taxes and property taxes, not counting sales/use taxes and other fees. When it's all said and done you are losing 1/3 to 1/2 of your income to bureaucrats - who then cheerfully proceed to waste it.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899675)

You had to make tens to a couple hundred million a year equivalent. Which is all of 10 people max.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899817)

Then what's the point of such taxes ?

Total federal budget = 4 trillion, or 4 tr / 300 mil = 13k per american. If you bring 80% of 10 people making average half a billion dollars that makes it ... a rounding error.

I know this is not going to be popular here, but really, from a financial point of view : any group smaller than tenthousand members (which would already make will pay for government. Why ? Because nobody else can. The only alternative is no government. And any attention paid to denying that fact is just wasted effort and misdirection, on par with hour long discussions about puppies that look real innocent, even when sitting next to a pile of poo.

And whether you include big theatrics cutting a few "rich" down to size (while the very rich working in politics "somehow" go unnoticed) ... in reality that sadly is a waste of taxpayer money. Personally, I get my theatrics from the idiot box.

I do not claim the position I'm defending is socially or morally just (in fact I could care less), I'm just saying it's pragmatic, and it's the truth. As to why I'm defending accepting reality on a site like this, that I cannot fathom at all. Heh maybe there's hope for me yet.

Re:I beg to differ (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899809)

There is extremely little waste in the US government. fell free to go to the library and look at the accounting numbers. It's public inforamtion. INformation I used to get paid to sift through, and write code to sift through.

Talking about Taxes is stupid, and it distract from the real conversation. The republican have done a good job seperating taxes out of any value to the conversation.

Don't talk about taxes. Talk about services. In Oregon, I lot of people value parks, and forests. SO they have services to maintain and protect them. That costs money. It comes from taxes.

The misinformation and distraction campaign is why we now have people who want taxes cut, and services improved. The same people who get pissed off with police cuts back, the schools systems have layoffs are the same ones that refuse to vote for a tax or bond measure.

We want to pay less, and you gibe us more. As if the money for services comes from a different bucket.

Re:I beg to differ (1, Insightful)

Kotakee (2632245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899655)

To be frank, middle class is really the best one to tax. The wealthy have the means and ways to avoid taxes. If someone gets in the way, they will rather pack their packs and leave. It's no problem - doing that is a lot cheaper than even the existing taxes they're paying. On top of that by taxing the wealthy you're removing the incentive from people to try and get there, and in turn you will be removing all the good that incentive does. Yes, there are industries and people that get rich by not really contributing to the common good, but overall it works out pretty good.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899823)

A health middle class has the most money overall, and there is more people. so a lower tax works because there is more money. When the middle class weakens, then you need to tax where the money is. i.e. the rich. remove the bush tax cuts. remove tax deductions. create a tobbins tax, loser corporate tax to 20%, only allow writ offs on In country RnD. Tax money moved out of the country at 50%

Bam. Better schools, Health care and we can get positive.

But know what we owe goes up, so lets lower the incomes. That makes much more sense.

Look up the "Ayn Rand Six Step".

Re:I beg to differ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899575)

Taxes have rarely been lower in the past century, see this [businessinsider.com]

Re:I beg to differ (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899671)

The Wikipedia link that I provided just above tells you far more. The lowest tax bracket applies to 90% of population. But your chart shows only the top tax bracket, for people who don't need to worry about mortgage or a car loan.

Re:I beg to differ (4, Interesting)

happyhamster (134378) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899639)

Wow, that's one way to ride your straw man [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man] down a slippery slope [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope]. Did I suggest anywhere 100% tax? Has there ever been a 100% tax?

As it happens, I am pretty familiar with the USSR economy. While the government did take a large chunk off one's wages, probably over 50% (maybe up to 70%, hard to give a specific number), the wages were way above "subsistence." People used their wages to buy expensive at that time electronics (TVs, video players), travel inside the country; frugal ones bought cars. For the 50-70% taxation, people were getting 100% free healthcare, 100% free kindergarten, high school, and college education and decent retirement benefits to name some.

About "taxing every worker to death, " that's just a lie. Minimum wage workers pay little to no taxes. Middle class pays more, but hardly over 30% even in extreme cases. Also, low wages people refuse to work for are not a result of taxation, but of employers intentionally pushing wages down because they can, due to high unemployment, offshoring, and cheap illegals.

And what the hell is this talk about “taxing to death" and "his dead body in the street"? It reminds me of ridiculous "death panels" by teabaggers. I have not seen unemployed dying on the streets yet. It seems that you are incapable of reasonable discussion about economy and taxes without resorting to threats of death and destruction to all who do not follow your anti-tax religion.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899701)

People used their wages to buy expensive at that time electronics (TVs, video players), travel inside the country; frugal ones bought cars. For the 50-70% taxation, people were getting 100% free healthcare, 100% free kindergarten, high school, and college education and decent retirement benefits to name some.

And how'd all that free shit work out for them? Considering the USSR formed in 1922, and formally dissolved in 1991, I suspect that they never had to pay a whole lot of those "decent retirement benefits," and they bankrupted themselves trying to give everybody all that 100% free healthcare, education, etc. et. al.

You really don't want to point to the USSR as an example of "good" socialism or communism. It was a fucking nightmare, and it ended in the dustbin of history, where it belongs. It was impractical, unsustainable, and the only thing that would have made it work would have been for everybody else in the rest of the world to voluntarily agree to adopt its policies, because it cannot exist in a vacuum, and is almost guaranteed to be unworkable in groups of more than 3. The USSR was bound to either fail, as it did, or spill oceans of blood, and then fail. Those were the only options for its trajectory.

Re:I beg to differ (3, Informative)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899833)

And how'd all that free shit work out for them?

I can clarify that for everyone's education.

Free healthcare was available. However it never guaranteed a successful treatment. Only several hospitals in the country (those that serviced party bosses) were decently equipped with Western tools. The rest was dismal. Can you imagine going to the dentist and having your teeth drilled without local anesthetic and with a drill that did at best 1,000-1,500 rpm? With the power being delivered to the drill bit via a set of rollers and belts? You never saw such a torture tool in your life. But every dental place in USSR had them - and only them. Same applies, of course, to every other medical aspect. As people joked, "the healthcare is free only if you don't care about the results."

A kindergarten was free, maybe. However have you seen them? They were not exactly attractive or educational places. They were practical, though, because the State required every man and every woman to work, and not to sit at home tending to their children.

A common worker was not very likely to even live long enough to see the pensions. But those who did were not living like kings. The pension was only barely sufficient to keep them alive on the most basic food. In latest years of USSR the pension was enough to go to the grocery store... once.

Free education was probably the smartest thing USSR ever did. Mind you, it was not free to everyone. You had to take exams and to prove that you are smart enough to be admitted. Admissions were not infinite either. If you are in then you will be even paid a little stipend if you are doing good. The country needed engineers and scientists and doctors.

USSR fell because it was destined to fall, and now we know exactly why this is so. Most importantly, USSR never had any objective reasons to be stable. Most of the miracles were achieved on the wave of popular enthusiasm - after the Civil War, then during and after the World War II. The Baikal-Amur railway was the last example of that enthusiasm. That could not last; and once it was gone the society fell into the groove of passivity, indifference, cynicism and decay. This is not that dissimilar from the trends in the modern US society; however in USSR it was illegal to not work if you are able-bodied. In the USA it is just fine.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899725)

Has there ever been a 100% tax?

Yes, Sweden had tax rates above 100%. Here are some links for you:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomperipossa_in_Monismania [wikipedia.org]

http://everestlancaster.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/pomperipossa-in-monismania/ [wordpress.com] (You must read this, good writing by a steady hand!)

http://everestlancaster.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/the-pomperipossa-effect/ [wordpress.com]

I have not seen unemployed dying on the streets yet.

One of our Australian friends (elsewhere in this very discussion) is sure that this is a common occurrence because, as you must know, in case of a heart attack the EMT whips up not a defibrillator but a credit card reader :-)

As it happens, I am pretty familiar with the USSR economy.

I don't want to make an example of a fallacy of argument from authority, but I know this issue from the inside, up close and personal. If you were employed by USSR in 1980s-1990s then we can compare our notes. Otherwise - sorry.

It seems that you are incapable of reasonable discussion about economy and taxes without resorting to threats of death and destruction to all who do not follow your anti-tax religion.

I paid my taxes about a month ago, and as result I'm very poor at the moment.

Re:I beg to differ (5, Informative)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899793)

Actually, you are mistaken.

The total tax load on the lower income (minimum wage) is about 28%.
The total tax load on the middle income is about 42%.
The total tax load on the upper income is about 23%.
The total tax load on the top .5% is about 19%.
And the total tax load on the wealthiest (.1%) is about 17% and will be until taxes on dividends and income go up or we flat out tax wealth.

Homeless people are dead on average by 47.
Homeless women are dead on average by 43.
In first world countries.

They clean the bodies up quickly.

"Total tax load" is state and local taxes + excise taxes + property tax (which is in your rent too- just hidden). Really have to watch out for the republicans latest "pay no FEDERAL" taxes. Because it really ignores the total tax people pay by income.

There are about 50-70 Excise taxes depending on your state.
Electricity, water, cigarettes, booze, gasoline, car, bicycle, etc. etc.

And total taxes were above 90% on the wealthy in the 1950's.
The peak was 92% on income over $400,000 per year in 1952.
That was too far in one direction. But 17% is too far in the other direction.

The things Google and other companies are going makes me wonder why we allow them to stay in business. Just discorporate them or make their product illegal if they are not benefiting your society. It would be trivial for Australia to basically ban Google in Australia until they payed a fair tax on Australian income.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899713)

That kind of stupid, idiotic, false dichotomy is the last refuge of somebody who can not support their position with actual facts or logic.

No, "taxes are the price we pay for civilization" does NOT mean that 100% taxation would be the ultimate civilization. Are you actually retarded or something?

Re:I beg to differ (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899771)

"Does this mean that 100% taxation, like in old USSR, would be the ultimate civilization?"
Of course not. It's almost lie you are setting up a strawman.

" USSR confiscated all the labor of workers, and instead paid them subsistence money that had no relation to the contribution of each specific worker."
Oh, you were. Shame on you. The soviet system was completely different.

"The USA is doing its best to repeat this experiment by taxing every worker to death,"
he says..among lowering taxes. Tax to death is ludicrous, and you should know it.

" In the end nobody will be working."
Under the former soviet union, that's true. Fortunately we are nothing like that. IS it jsut you are young and the USSR has some wierd place in your mibd abiut how they got their? are you just ignorant? Are you just trying to create a boogey man?
Stop it.

Re:I beg to differ (0)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899865)

It's almost li[k]e you are setting up a strawman.

It is called Reductio ad absurdum [wikipedia.org] .

The soviet system was completely different.

It's unwise to say that to someone who was born in USSR.

Under the former soviet union, that's true. Fortunately we are nothing like that. IS it jsut you are young and the USSR has some wierd place in your mibd abiut how they got their? are you just ignorant? Are you just trying to create a boogey man?

It's amazing. Every one of your statements in this paragraph is wrong. I know exactly what I'm talking about. It is only sad that you are not willing to listen to people who were there and saw it all.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899561)

If all they were buying with my money was civilization that'd be fine, but they're buying a whole lot of other crap too.

Re:I beg to differ (2)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899615)

Or maybe, taxes are the wealth you extort from others at gunpoint to pay for the civilization you want.

Then again, you're no longer getting even that. Taxes are now used for wars and corporatism first and the civilization you want third.

Re:I beg to differ (2)

deego (587575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899683)

> "Taxes are the price we pay for civilization."

Except that my taxes are funding illegal wars and the TSA instead that's being used to grope our children. By being forcibly taxed, I am an involuntary participant in all that. I have no right to opt out.

If some of these "civilization"-y-things like local Fire department were allowed to be created spontaneously, at least they would be accountable to me. At least I would have the right to opt out if they start to use my dues to fund a war.
----
As I understand it, prior to a certain time, the US govt. did just fine with no taxes. It generated its revenue from import duties, and with this limited revenue, it stuck to limited things like enforcing law.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899837)

No, the price we pay for civilization is treating each other decently. Taxes are the price we pay for delegating some of our prerogatives as free people to the state, to exercise on our behalf.

-jcr

Re:Taxes suck. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899481)

You know, I'm a bit of a Google Fanboy. If there's a company I tend to forgive, it's Google, but let's dispel a few myths.

Taxes don't suck. In the US, you let people die in the streets if they don't have a healthcare card. in Australia, we don't. Taxes go to public hospitals, maintaining roads and other social infrastructure and services.

By Google not paying its fair share, like everyone else, they really are being dishonest - and I disrespect Google for that.

On the other hand, Facebook is far, far worse than Google.

Google, just pay your damn taxes like the rest of us. You're starting to develop a bad wrap. No evil?

AC

Re:Taxes suck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899599)

We don't let everyone "die in the streets". Hospitals are required to treat people before it comes to that, even if they can't pay.

Our healthcare system does suck, but not everything you hear is true.

Re:Taxes suck. (1, Offtopic)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899667)

You want to risk your home on an ER bill? Try some bankruptcy? Just to get some medical treatment....

Re:Taxes suck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899747)

Wow, nice job moving the discussion, numbnuts. The dumbass Australian guy said people were dying in the streets from lack of health care here which is complete and utter bullshit.

Slashdot: the home of pathetic idiots whose arguments boil down to throwing talking points back and forth. So fucking boring.

Re:Taxes suck. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899797)

You need medical care and don't get that "required to treat people" paper work in for "free" care - you will be in the streets after the bills arrive. If you don't get your meds, your meds in the right amounts or have your meds reviewed - palliative care becomes your "required to treat people".

Re:Taxes suck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899849)

How many ways are you going to try and weasel it in, dude? People don't "die on the streets" here from lack of medical care. If you are dying and you can't afford it, you will be treated. Guaran-fucking-teed. Now go crank somewhere else, idiot.

Re:Taxes suck. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899751)

False, Hospitals are not require to treat people. This is a liw spread by people who would rather watch children rot in the street then have health care proposed by a black democrat.

Hospitals are requires to stabilize you. Then you are back on the street. Infection? too bad. Side of you face swollen and on the very edge of leaking puss into your brain? come back when it's actually an emergency.
And if the number get much higher, then hospital physically won't be ably to treat you.

The average age of the homeless is just about 45.
What happens is, the go critical, then an ambulance is called, but they are declared dead at the hospital. what we don't do is leave the dead in the street to be picked up later. We will when everything gets privatized and it's not worth the expense of a private company to pick someone up they won't get paid for.

But hey, lets think of extreme political ideology instead of actually doing things to help people.

Re:Taxes suck. (1)

X.25 (255792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899845)

This is just part of the campaign to tar Google with any brush they can. Read this.

You are silly.

This has nothing to do with Google, but with the fact that corporation are somehow allowed to pay incredibly small taxes, while you as a hardworking and honest person have absolutely no way to achieve similar tax rate.

Question is - why is system favouring corporations?

As if we don't know the answer already :(

Ah, Slashdot! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899315)

As we speak, I'm shooting farts out of my own asshole at ridiculous speeds! Well then, it's time for our fated meeting! Shall we?

Good for them (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899327)

Businesses don't pay taxes, their customers do. I cheer whenever I hear about someone dodging taxes, although I'd cheer more if the size of your accounting team didn't determine your tax bill.

Why don't people ask for laws simple enough to just -know-?

Re:Good for them (1)

Gwala (309968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899343)

In Australia; business taxes can be reclaimed against shareholders tax through a system called Franking Credits; there's a similar (but different) system setup for foreign investors - although a company can only pick one scheme or the other. Regardless, it's a bit of a moot point.

Re:Good for them (0)

anubi (640541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899407)

Everybody knows the power to tax is the power to destroy.

If you kill off a business, or even as much as discourage anyone from starting a business in the first place, money never changes hands, and NO tax is collected. Worse yet, unemployed people bug their government for handouts.

Where does a business put their money?

They hire people. They construct buildings. They pay shareholders. They buy meals in restaurants. Their employees buy homes.

None of this would have happened without the benefits of business.

Destroying a business with tax, litigation, legislation, red tape, whatever, makes about as much sense as uprooting a crop before it ever bears fruit.

We can't eat money.

Cherish those who have figured out how to organize us into some sort of productive activity.

All I ask is that competition be fair - "gaming" the system by erecting "barriers to entry" just reeks of turf-gang type behaviour and should not be tolerated.

I can see sliding tax scales on wealth accumulation,.. but taxing businesses for making a buck just seems crazy.

That buck is the life-blood of that business, and it needs that buck to perpetuate itself and grow.

Would we be better off without business? Everything I have was made by a business.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899529)

I can see sliding tax scales on wealth accumulation,.. but taxing businesses for making a buck just seems crazy.

Business aren't taxed "for making a buck" and neither are individuals. Both are taxed because the State needs that money to pay for nice things like roads, security, education, research, healthcare (in civilized countries, anyway), and so on. Some amount of taxation is inevitable unless you want to give up on civilization. That isn't to say taxes are (or are not) "fair", or that this or that form of taxation is better - but someone, somewhere, must foot the bill (spoiler: business pass their tax costs to consumers, so it's always you).

That buck is the life-blood of that business, and it needs that buck to perpetuate itself and grow.

Any business that can't make enough profit to pay the taxes it owes society should die to open way for a better, more productive, business.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899635)

This argument presupposes that "roads, security, education, research, healthcare, and so on" are only available if the government pays for it.

This is, of course, patently false. And you know that, but you like to pretend there's no third alternative.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899761)

the State needs that money to pay for nice things like roads, security, education, research, healthcare (in civilized countries, anyway)

Yeah, and wars, and child fondling airport flashlight cops, and private jets for senators, and pork barrel brother-in-law's uncle projects. Fuck you. The state has enough of my money and enough of Google's money. I'd rather a corporation keep their money and be able to employ more people than the power and money grubbing worthless politicos fritter it away.

Re:Good for them (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899467)

Bull shit ever heard of a margin? Prices are with the market can bear. Taxes are not always passed on this is known as a margin squeeze. And this is f****** stupid canard.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899501)

A uniform tax would affect everyone's margin uniformly. So the prices would go up uniformly.

Unfortunately, the tax system is so complicated that you're more likely to dodge taxes if you're an established corporation. The word 'regressive' comes to mind.

Re:Good for them (1)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899525)

It's also a tax on their investors. Except in an ideal world of perfect competition, the savings from reduced taxes wouldn't be completely passed on to customers; at least some of it would be retained to increase profit margins.

Besides, it only seems fair for the people who benefit from a company's products to contribute to paying its taxes.

Re:Good for them (1)

teg (97890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899653)

Businesses don't pay taxes, their customers do. I cheer whenever I hear about someone dodging taxes, although I'd cheer more if the size of your accounting team didn't determine your tax bill.

Why don't people ask for laws simple enough to just -know-?

Only in perfect markets, where you don't have superprofits. In many markets, prices are (partially or fully) set to what the customer is willing to pay rather than the cost of providing the services. Google would be an example here... In this case, taxes would be from the businesses.

Re:Good for them (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899703)

Because life is simple and complex things shouldn't be boiled down the your level of ignorance?

1/40th of revenue from 1/300th Population?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899357)

How does that work out then, Australia has 1/300th of the worlds population, yet the revenue is 1/40th of Googles revenue???

Methinks someone is mud slinging to deflect attention away from the Microsoft tax fraud (I'm calling it fraud because its a hollow front company in Reno pretending to be a substantial part of Microsoft's business), and I'm point to Microsoft because submitter listed 'Apple' but not Microsoft. Which are the two instances we've had already, so it sounds like he wants to shift focus away from something.

Re:1/40th of revenue from 1/300th Population?? (2, Informative)

Kotakee (2632245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899413)

Actually, the whole Apple/Microsoft thing looks like deflecting attention away from Google's practices. Their tax dodging has been discussed since 2010 [slashdot.org] . Maybe it's even Google themselves who started this bullshit spreading about other companies cos they got too much heat for it and wanted to be all "don't blame us! look these guys do it too! that makes it ok!"

Re:1/40th of revenue from 1/300th Population?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899801)

Their tax dodging has been discussed since 2010.

What tax dodging you useless idiot? Tax dodging is illegal and if they are doing that then there are places for them. This is not dodging taxes. It is working within the law to pay the proper amount as prescribed by that law. I don't want Google or any other business to pay too much in tax. I'D RATHER THEY HAVE MORE MONEY TO HIRE PEOPLE. In case you haven't heard, jobs are scarce these days and I damn sure don't see the government hiring too many people.

Re:1/40th of revenue from 1/300th Population?? (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899419)

The world has a total GDP on currency converted basis of about 70 trillion dollars, australia has a GDP of about 1.4 trillion. 1/40th of 70 trillion dollars would be 1.7 trillion. And not all of the people in the world even have internet access to matter to google.

(source: wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal) which gives couple of different estimates that are all pretty close given our margin of error here).

Re:1/40th of revenue from 1/300th Population?? (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899463)

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that Google's revenue per Australian is higher than Google's revenue per human? Seven and a half times higher. Why is that surprising at all? The US is about 1/20th the world's population and almost 1/2 of Google's revenue source. There are places where very few people have never used the Internet. There are other places where people make less money, so fewer advertising dollars are pointed at them, even if they have equal Internet access.

"Revenue" is a useless measure (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899367)

Corporation tax is charged against profit, not revenue.

A successful, well-run company can easily have a profit of $1 on revenues of billions and therefore pay only 25 cents tax.

If a company is making millions and billions in revenue it usually indicates that they are ( 1 ) not paying realistic dividends to holders of preference chares and ( 2 ) they are not investing internally in R&D. Both those are booked against the profit & loss account.

why do you say "funnelled"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899415)

Your characterizing their actions without any basis. They appropriately pay taxes in Ireland for the services they render there. If there is something illicit going on you should describe exactly what it is, but I suspect if you actually read the tax code of both countries and compared it to what they were doing you would see the logic behind not having double taxation.

Re:why do you say "funnelled"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899445)

The whole point of the "Double Irish" is that they don't pay taxes. What they're doing is perfectly legal, people just don't like it.

Re:why do you say "funnelled"? (2, Insightful)

Kotakee (2632245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899447)

Nobody said there was something illegal going on. It is a legal practice. However, it is really shady practice that Google is purposely doing. They know it, we know it, everyone knows it. Legally speaking they can continue doing it if they so choose. However, it is still morally wrong.

Re:why do you say "funnelled"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899885)

However, it is still morally wrong.

The fuck it is. You know what's morally wrong? Using the tax money I pay to fund bullshit wars and pay people to fondle my kids in airports and to fund your little bullshit pet projects. If anybody is "immoral" it is the asshole politicians who siphon the money from the people and useful idiots like you that cheer them on. I want Google to keep as much money as they can so they can EMPLOY PEOPLE.

Re:why do you say "funnelled"? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899709)

Do you think some small Australian software firm gets to "be Irish", become "a charity"?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_File_Number [wikipedia.org] - they get tracked and taxed.

Waaaaaah. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899435)

If you don't like people exploiting loopholes to pay lower tax rates, then remove the loopholes. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Only stupid people pay taxes (1)

slidersv (972720) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899461)

And unfortunately, I am one of them. I have to pay almost half of what I make to various governmental overlords, which it says so by law. But if I'd really want to make money, I shouldn't work harder or get smarter, I just need to steal from the government.

Google isn't the villain here (5, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899485)

What kind of fool of a company would Google be if it DIDN'T exploit every tool the government gives it to minimize it's tax burden? Furthermore, how irresponsible to it's share holders if it didn't utilize the law to achieve the highest rate of return.

Google is not the villain here. No company is, when it's simply exercising the controls given to it by the government under which it operates.

Re:Google isn't the villain here (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899571)

What kind of fool of a company would Google be if it DIDN'T exploit every tool the government gives it to minimize it's tax burden?

These tools are not given to Google by governments. These tools require a multinational corporation that hides taxes by using incompatible laws of multiple countries.

MS does the same by playing on differences in tax laws of individual states (IIRC, all sales of all DVDs are done through a one-lawyer office in Nevada [microsofttaxdodge.com] , and Redmond offices work at loss - hardly a surprise if they never sell anything.)

$74K is something that a family of two hard-working middle managers ($150K/yr each, 25% tax rate) can be paying, not a company like Google.

Re:Google isn't the villain here (1, Informative)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899601)

There's nothing illegal about what Google is doing, right?

Not the villain. They are using what tools are available to save as much money as they can. To put it another way, is someone a villain if they use coupons when they go shopping? If they go shopping during a sale?

Obviously not. If the laws are in place to allow this behavior, then it follows that this is what the governments want.

Re:Google isn't the villain here (3, Insightful)

Andtalath (1074376) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899795)

No, it follows that there are very few rules for internationeal taxing which actually work.

Re:Google isn't the villain here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899585)

Google is indeed not the villain here.
They entire collection of big corporations are just all crooks.

Re:Google isn't the villain here (2)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899627)

Taxes don't come only in one package. There's taxes on corporate revenue sure, but then there's payroll tax, sales tax, dividend tax etc.

In america if you own a corporation the government takes taxes from the revenue and then taxes from the dividends. On average the government takes double what the stockholder takes.

Re:Google isn't the villain here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899681)

And if you're a global corporation, you shop around so you get the lowest taxes possible. Then you complain the taxes are too high and spend money lobbying for lower taxes because they're the lowest around but, hey, why not lower?
 
I would suggest that countries around the world figure out a pact to ensure that tax-shopping is reduced as much as possible. If some globo-corp. wants lower taxes, then physically move to where they're lower. They won't, though, because then their day-to-day life -- or at least their workers' -- will be worse.

Re:Google isn't the villain here (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899697)

wrong... and irrelevant. Please try again.

Re:Google isn't the villain here (2)

Andtalath (1074376) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899791)

So being mean to someone is ok as long as you don't go over the line and harass them?
It's ok to lie to people to get them to do non-economic favors for you?

I could go on.

Operating within the boundaries of the law is a lawful act, not a good one.

Morals are seperate from the law, it's really that simple.

Also, the main reason that these loop-holes exist is that it's hard to prosecute over national borders when it comes to taxation.

Re:Google isn't the villain here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899835)

Furthermore, how irresponsible to it's share holders

Grammar police? I found the villain!

Minor correction in from Google (4, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899507)

They are calling it a translation error and that in fact the company motto is "Do Evil". Apparently "Don't" doesn't translate well from corporate BS to plain speak.

Re:Minor correction in from Google (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899685)

If this was evil, then sure. Of course it's not, and Google is pretty damn good player. So good in fact people who are desperate to call it evil have to make up the thinnest excuses. If they didn't, they might have t think about their world view, and basing you 'opinion' and bases gut feelings requires less energy that, say, thinking.

qcu5m (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899509)

Don't single out Google on this. (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899555)

It goes by many names. Tax avoision, tax optimisation, tax efficiency. Google does it, Microsoft does it, Apple does it... even the optician I use has a token headquarters in the tax haven of Gurnsey. Every major company engages in the practice, and they'd be stupid not to. Making a profit is the reason for their existance.

Google creates jobs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899563)

Google creates many jobs in Australia, and not only do those Australians pay taxes, they don't depend on welfare.

Hollywood accounting (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899593)

not just for Hollywood anymore.

A more appropriate slogan (2)

Time_Ngler (564671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899623)

Slashdot - News for Accountants, Taxation that matters

ANyone can do this (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899673)

not just large corporations.

Not that it has the same value.

And yes, it should be stop. Monies leaving the country should have the crap taxed out of it.

you cant.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899693)

you cant blame any company for taking advantage of the current situation
but it doesnt matter who it is when i see the huge earners any region of the world paying less tax then the dude working at mcdonalds....
man does it ever grind my gear, i mean who the FUCK like that happen, what ever politician or group of them that allows that shit to get pushed through in the first place should be shot, period.

Id love to see a major change in the tax code applied retro actively! lol

as an aside, i did some quick calculations on the tax apple didnt pay(not to bash apple i just already did the math, although i do hate apple) but it works out to like 500,000 people making 40k a year could not have been tax instead of apple being taxed at 10%or 750,000 could have been taxed at 10% if apple was taxed at 35%

Its just crazy, say there is few a dozen companys doing that in america or that some of them make less then 40k a year and 10% of the countries population could be paying 10% tax and that everyone numbers not just working class. its mind boggling how frustrating it is.

Good (1)

buttfuckinpimpnugget (662332) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899721)

Fuck governments. They don't deserve shit from any of us.

Google an easy target for the unfair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899753)

Google provides jobs for many Australians, who pay taxes, with the added benefit of keeping them off the welfare rolls.
Is that not enough?

1000x more income than me - same tax bill (1)

BlackSabbath (118110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899779)

As an Australian citizen, let me just say this:

Fuck me dead!

Not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899781)

The Australian government institutionalised tax-breaks to multi-nationals in 1947, so don't blame those companies. Blame the Australian parliament for lying to its citizens.

In 2004, the tax-office (ATO) released its 10-year summary. One reporter mentioned that multi-nationals paid approximately 2% tax. The next day, sitting politicians were demanding a federal inquiry. On the third day ... silence. The issue of lost revenue had disappeared overnight.

It shows how beholden the media companies are to the Liberal party. Now the Labor party has power, politician-bashing is the order of the day.

Taxes? Taxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899815)

Companies don't pay taxes! Their customers pay taxes that are integrated into the price of the good or service.
Companies should never be taxed. Companies should create jobs and pay dividends.

You don't get taxed on revenue (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899819)

When everybody has finished foaming at the mouth: TFA is total nonsense. You don't get taxed on revenue, you get taxed on profit. Without knowing what the associated costs were, you can't know how reasonable the tax figure is.

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