Apple, Google & Microsoft: Singapore Slings for everyone

The Singapore sales came to $US82.3 billion ($114.3 billion) almost all of which goes straight to Ireland, where Apple has a little tax misunderstanding with the EC. Back in Singapore the pre-tax profit was $2.035 billion, and the tax bill $US107.8 million ($150 million), just under the Australian tax bill for Apple.

No such issue for Google Australia, which reported $23.6 million tax expense on revenue of $1.02 billion and pre-tax earnings of $148.7 million.

How much did Google Asia Pacific Pte Ltd notch up in 2017? Try just $1.4 million. That was on $US15.7 billion revenue and $US492.5 million pre-tax profit. To be fair, Google would have paid more Singapore tax. You know they wanted to. Except it turned out the company had overpaid $30 million tax in previous years. That's so Google. Always giving.

Most of Google’s Singapore revenue ended up as part of the €19.9 billion ($31.4 billion) the group ran through its Double Irish-Dutch sandwich which ended up tax free in Bermuda in 2017.

For a horrifying moment it looked like Microsoft was paying more than 20 per cent tax in Singapore. Microsoft Operations Pte Ltd reported tax of $US42.6 million from revenue of $US7.3 billion and earnings of $US192 million. Stand easy. Current tax is only $US9.1 million, and Microsoft has a 10 per cent tax deal in Singapore.