NZ Govt demands max tax bills on Apple, Google, Facebook…

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Following criticism that multinational companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook have structured their global businesses to minimise tax payments in New Zealand, Finance Minister Bill English has called on the tech giants to pay more tax.

Insisting the organisations should cough up their fair share, English acknowledged the companies should pay more, but warned achieving such government goals was easier said than done.

“We’re very keen to see them pay more tax,” English told Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report.

“The tricky bit is that it requires combined international action.

“A whole range of countries are going to need to agree on tax rules for companies like Google and Apple and Starbucks and any number of corporates that you can think of.

“I would certainly hope that’s going to be discussed at this forum because it’s going to need a lot of people including businesses to see that it’s unacceptable.”

In March last year, Apple Sales New Zealand, the local unit of the iPhone, iPad and iPod maker, posted a 38 percent jump in full-year sales to $571 million, though the tax department received a payment amounting to just 0.4 percent of that.

While Facebook New Zealand also came under fire after only paying $14,500 tax in 2012, making a mockery of tax loopholes for multinationals according to the Labour Partywho also crictised Google’s tiny tax contribution of $109,000.

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