Surging commodity prices and a crackdown on foreign tech companies delivered the Morrison government bumper revenue last year, even though about a third of large companies paid no tax.
Data released by the Taxation Office on Thursday shows the big end of town paid about $45.7bn in company tax last year, up from $38.2bn the year before.
But of the 2109 large companies for which the ATO released data yesterday, 722, or 34.2 per cent, paid no tax — down only marginally from 35.8 per cent the previous year.
Companies that paid no tax included Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill Holdings — although her Hancock Prospecting paid $407.8m — the Rockpool restaurant group fronted by celebrity chef Neil Perry, Perth oil and gas company Woodside and defence contractor BAE’s Australian arm.
Corporate tax, which is paid on profit, can be reduced for a number of reasons, including depreciation on assets or due to tax losses carried over from previous years. However, in a separate set of statistics also released yesterday, the ATO estimates large companies underpaid almost $3.8bn in tax in 2016, or more than 9 per cent of the tax paid by the big end of town, and dramatically increased estimates of how much tax fell short in previous years.Read more