Concerns that major multinational corporations including Facebook were structuring their finances to avoid company taxes also prompted then revenues minister Kelly O’Dwyer to introduce legislative changes last year in a bid to crack down on a practice known as «profit shifting».
Facebook Australia recorded a before-tax profit of $35 million this year, compared to $32 million last year, the documents lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show.
It paid $11.8 million in company taxes, compared to $42 million last year, of which $31.3 million was the result of the legally-binding settlement of its ATO audit .
Facebook’s financial accounts show the settlement also covers the way it treats tax this year.
Facebook’s local subsidiary paid $70 million more to a related company overseas this year compared to last year, for the costs associated with the sales by the local sales team.
«The company acts as a reseller of advertising services to larger Australia customers through a reseller agreement with another group company and generates revenues primarily through the resale of advertising inventory on Facebook,» the financial report reads.
«These revenues consist primarily of advertising revenues generated by displaying ad products on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and third-party affiliated websites or mobile applications.»
Facebook Australia has been contacted for comment.
On January 31, Facebook’s parent company disclosed revenues of $US16.9 billion ($246 billion) and profits of $US6.88 billion for that quarter for the three months to the end of December 2018.
But last week — still reeling from the Cambridge Analytica data scandal — the company told investors it was expecting a fine from the US Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations of between $US3 billion and $US5 billion, which would be the highest civil penalty ever imposed.
Kylar Loussikian is The Sydney Morning Herald’s CBD columnist.