However, the top line of its accounts reports revenue of just $ 1.2 billion, or a quarter of that figure.
In an attached note, Google Australia declares to consider itself as a simple “agent”, obliged to sell the advertising inventory created by its American parent company. Thus, it only records the commission it earns on each sale as revenue, and passes the rest to Google Inc.’s California headquarters (via a Singapore subsidiary) as “associated direct cost of sales. “.
Google’s $ 100 million tax bill in 2019 included $ 40 million payable on its pre-tax profit of $ 134 million, as well as a $ 51 million catch-up on tax under-provisions from previous years.
Political pressure to close the loophole that allows most of Australian tech giants’ income to be taxed overseas is sure to increase as the budget comes under unprecedented pressure from the epidemic of COVID-19.
However, Google Australia has long argued that its corporate tax accounting is a legitimate reflection of the fact that the vast majority of research and development for its products – on which it has spent $ 26 billion ($ 40 billion dollars) in 2019 – takes place in the United States.
Google Australia’s tax bill is gradually increasing, at least in absolute terms. He paid $ 49 million in 2018 and only $ 11.7 million in 2014.
The Australian financial results of Google and Facebook are also under pressure from pressure to pay Australian media companies more for the content that catches the eye on their platforms.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher last month ordered the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to develop a binding code of conduct to address the imbalance in bargaining power between local media companies and global technology platforms.
New, owner of The Australian Financial Review, will submit to the ACCC that Google and Facebook pay about 10 percent of the revenues they earn from Australia, in fact for licensing local media content.
A Google Australia spokesperson said $ 1 billion was invested in the Sydney-based subsidiary during the year. The accounts show a workforce of 1,731 people at the end of 2019, against around 800 in 2014.
An earlier version of this story gave Chromebook computers as an example of Google Australia’s hardware revenue, but they are not sold through the Australian subsidiary.