Facebook and Google paid a less than $40 million in tax between them in Australia last year on more than $1.1 billion in advertising sales.
Documents filed with ASIC show Facebook Australia raked in $579.7 million from advertising in 2018 – plus another $696,000 from what it calls “services” – but paid $454.9 million in costs to an overseas subsidiary to arrive at a net revenue of figure of $125.5 million.
Facebook Australia paid $11.8 million in tax for a $23.3 million profit, compared to a $9.6 million loss a year ago, and closed the year with $30.5 million in cash in hand.
Its tax bill was significantly lower than the $42.4 million paid in 2017, but that figure was inflated by a $31.3 million settlement related to an ATO audit of its records since 2009.
Google Australia recorded total revenue of $1.07 billion for the year to December 31, including $560.6 million of advertising and other reseller revenue, but reported a pre-tax profit of just $155.9 million.
A tax expense of $26.5 million reduced that to $129.5 million.
While Google Australia said it had invested almost $1 billion in its local operations, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten multinational corporations were treating Australia as a soft touch.
“I’m sick and tired of big multinationals who make a lot of money in Australia paying very little tax,” Mr Shorten told a group of workers in Perth.
“I see that Facebook made hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue but they got it down to $12 million tax – how can this be?”