Clearly both sides of politics know there’s a vote in it and tonight’s budget looks set to clamp down on big multinationals – many of them large media companies – who are reportedly siphoning swags of cash tax-free out of Australia.
The GST will also reportedly be extended to online shopping purchases from overseas, adding 10 per cent to the cost to purchases and downloads and significantly adding to government coffers.
The new online tax – which has already curried a favourable response from local retailers – has been nicknamed the ‘Netflix tax’ after the online video streamer said it had structured its US-based business so its Australian customers would avoid paying the GST.
Other online retailers such as Airbnb, Uber and some Google products are expected to feel the government’s tax wrath. However, it should be noted that Apple’s iTunes and Google’s Play Store already attract the GST.
Yesterday, the treasurer, Joe Hockey, announced the changes that will be announced in tonight’s Budget. Hockey said the changes were designed to “create a level playing field” and would generate an estimated extra $350 million for the nation’s kitty.
Both sides of politics clearly know they’re on a vote winner by taking a hard line on supposed tax dodgers; the Labor Party recently launching an outdoor campaign spruiking comments from leader Bill Shorten that said, “Our tax policy will make multinationals pay their fair share.”
Netflix – which launched in Australia in late March – has thus far been able to undercut its local SVOD rivals Stan and Presto who’ve had to charge customers the goods and services tax. Despite initially bragging about not having to pay the local taxes, a spokesperson for Netflix in Australia said the video streamer would comply to the changes set to be announced tonight.
The free-to-air stations have also rightly complained about Netflix’s unfair advantage when they’ve been saddled with huge license fees plus the cost of producing local content required under the license agreements.
Agency icon and chairman of the free-to-air lobby group Free TV Australia, Harold Mitchell, had nothing but effusive praise for the treaurer’s decision. “I applaud what the treasurer is doing to haul Netlfix back into line to give Australian media a level playing field. The treasurer deserves every credit for this,” Mitchell was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, the federal government will also clamp down on 30 multinational companies – including media behemoths Google, Apple, News Corp and Microsoft – it accuses of avoiding tax in Australia.
Hockey has not named any organisations inparticular but said “it was pretty evident which companies are involved”. In early April, the Australian CEO’s of Apple, News and Microsoft appeared before a senate enquiry into tax avoidance; allegations those fronting the enquiry vehemently denied.
Although what Hockey will actually announce remains unclear (save for tightening “part 4A of the Tax Act”) but yesterday he went on record as saying it would target billions of dollars spent by Aussies on product and downloads here in Australia that is subsequently shifted overseas.
In yesterday’s pre-Budget media conference, Hockey said: “Obviously they have not been paying their fair share of tax in Australia, in fact they have been paying no tax in Australia. Only by being embedded in their businesses have we been able to work out their business model.”
He added that the government wanted to “ensure that the suppliers of digital products and services into Australia charge the GST on those products”.
The new measures to be outlined tonight are said to include new laws to recoup unpaid taxes, plus fines of as much as 100 per cent on unpaid taxes.
Labor, however, yesterday called the treasurer’s plans an “uncosted thought-bubble”.
Hayley Fisher [pictured] is the AUNZ Country Manager at Adyen. In this op-ed, she discusses the upcoming holidays sales season and explains marketers can help drive sales. Over the 18-months the pace of ecommerce has accelerated to new heights. According to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), a record $44.2 billion was […]
TPG Telecom has announced it will hold a creative pitch to further develop the Vodafone brand here in Australia. Last year’s merger between Vodafone and TPG brought together a family of brands under the TPG Telecom group, with the creative shift to position Vodafone for the future. While Vodafone’s long-standing relationship with WPP will continue, […]
Following 18 months of intermittent lockdowns across Australia, shopping centre giant Westfield is launching a new service that will tap into the ecommerce boom. The new service, named Westfield Direct, will take on the likes of Australia Post by providing shipping directly to customers. Shoppers will also be able to select items from an online […]
SBS has been recognised as one of Australia and New Zealand’s Most Innovative Companies, in the prestigious annual list published by the Australian Financial Review and Boss Magazine, from over 700 nominated organisations. Ranked third on the Media and Marketing list, SBS was the only media company to make the list, recognised for its growing and evolving multilingual digital services, exemplifying SBS’s innovative culture and strategy. SBS provides multiplatform services in more than […]
Twitter has confirmed it is experimenting with a new ad format which will see ads placed within conversation threads for the first time. The company’s Revenue Product Lead Bruce Falck made the announcement on Thursday. “Starting today, we’re trying something different and testing a new ad format in Tweet conversations,” he posted on Twitter. “If […]
In exciting news today, Mushroom Group is thrilled to announce much lauded Aussie music program The Sound will return to the ABC this November! Celebrating some of our best musical talents since its launch in 2020, The Sound Season 3 will debut on Sunday 7 November at 5.30pm (local time). Viewers can watch The Sound on ABC TV each Sunday afternoon or catch up with the latest episodes via ABC iview. Across Season […]
Strategic design and innovation company AKQA has received the top industry ranking in the 2021 AFR Boss Most Innovative Companies List. This is the third consecutive year the company has been acknowledged by the AFR for its commitment to innovation in the media and marketing category. The Most Innovative Companies Awards were presented via a […]
National news brand, The Australian, has launched a new podcast from Hedley Thomas, Shandee’s Story. Shandee’s Story is the culmination of six months’ work by Thomas, the award-winning investigative journalist behind The Teacher’s Pet and The Night Driver podcasts. The podcast investigates a harrowing cold case. Shandee Blackburn was left to die after a frenzied knife attack as she walked […]
Greater Bank has won a Silver Award at the 2021 Step Two Intranet & Digital Workplace Awards with its Intranet Built on the Elcom Digital Employee Experience Platform. The global awards recognise outstanding contributions to the fields of intranets and digital workplaces, honouring remarkable solutions that deliver business value to their organisations and then share […]
Two new research reports have revealed key drivers for ‘commerce content’ and the massive revenue opportunity it presents for digital publishers and brands. Published by independent media organisations, commerce content allows readers to understand the goods and services promoted by an editorial team. It’s now a major part of the partnership ecosystem, and a way […]