US computer giant Microsoft uses a complex structure to evade billions of dollars in taxes in countries with lucrative government contracts. This is according to a study published today.
The Center for Corporate Tax Research and Accountability (Cictar), an Australia-based research firm, said: In a press release.
“Microsoft is proud to offer its shareholders profit margins of over 30 percent. But in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, its revenue is only 3 to 4 percent,” said Jason Ward, an analyst with the company.
huge red flag
“It doesn’t seem plausible that these booming markets are doing so badly,” he added. He described it as a “huge red flag for tax evasion” that “deprives the public sector of much-needed revenue” despite the “billions being made as suppliers to the governments” of those countries.
According to the study, Microsoft Global Finance, an Irish subsidiary with tax resident status in Bermuda, has focused more than $100 billion in investments and, despite operating profit of $2.4 billion, paid no taxes in 2020.
In another example cited by Cictar, Microsoft Singapore Holdings reported a dividend income of $22.4 billion in 2020, but a tax fee of only $15. However, Microsoft has signed government contracts worth at least $3.3 billion in the UK, US, Australia or Canada in the past five years, data from the study shows.
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