The Australian Taxation Office’s tax transparency report looked at more than 2200 Australian and foreign-owned companies with turnover above $100 million.
More than 1500 of the companies paid a combined total of $52.3 billion in tax, while 710 firms didn’t have a tax liability in 2017/18.
Paying minimal or zero tax can be a result of companies making a loss, utilising losses from other years or having projects in start-up phase.
ATO deputy commissioner Rebecca Saint said companies consistently reporting sustained losses raised a red flag.
“The community should be reassured that we closely scrutinise the tax affairs of the largest companies,” she said.
She said there was a positive trend around companies stopping generating accounting losses and moving to offset profits through losses in previous years.
“We expect many companies to exhaust these losses and begin paying income tax in the coming years,”Saint said.
Strong increases in commodity prices drove the tax bill up by $6.6 billion, with the Petroleum Resources Rent Tax reaping more than $1 billion.
Want to comment?
Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.
We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.
InDaily has changed the way we receive comments. Go here for an explanation.
We value local independent journalism. We hope you do too.
InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to become an InDaily supporter.