The ATO has recently finalised a large program of work focusing on the e-commerce and digital economy industry, with the Tax Avoidance Taskforce collecting over $1 billion in cash collections; ensuring future revenue effects of more than $580 million over the next four years; and completing many complex audits on industry leading e-commerce multinational enterprises (MNEs).
According to the Tax Office, the evolving nature of the industry has led to highly complex and often unique business and financial structures for these companies.
The sub-industries targeted include IT hardware and software; IT consulting/technical services; online advertising; online retailing; payment processing; cloud and data hosting services; digital platforms – online marketplaces, online gambling/gaming and the sharing economy.
Established in 2016 with a $679 million budget over four years, the taskforce has sought to investigate and combat the most aggressive tax avoidance arrangements.
Over the last financial year, the taskforce has raised nearly $3 billion in liabilities against large public groups and multinational corporations and $1.8 billion in liabilities raised against wealthy individuals and private groups.
It also conducted 68 audits covering 63 multinational corporations as well as 700 audits for wealthy individuals and associated groups.