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Google settles US$327 million tax bill in Australia

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Google agreed to pay Australian tax authorities Aus$482 million (US$327 million) to settle a long-running dispute over the tech giant’s multibillion-dollar business in the country, officials announced Wednesday.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) said the payment covered taxes owed for 2008-2018, and brought to Aus$1.25 billion the amount recovered from global e-commerce titans including Microsoft, Apple and Facebook.

“This settlement is another great outcome for the Australian tax system,” said Deputy Commissioner Mark Konza, who has spearheaded the ATO’s Tax Avoidance Taskforce.

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“It adds to the significant success of the ATO in positively changing the behaviour of digital taxpayers and significantly increasing the tax they pay in Australia,” he added.

The ATO launched its crackdown on multinational companies’ accounting practices in 2016 with the adoption of an anti-tax avoidance law and the launch of the taskforce.

Konza said on Wednesday that the ATO’s operation would be extended until 2023 to ensure multinational digital players continue to pay taxes on sales revenue from Australian customers.

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