Michael West

Michael West

Michael West comments on companies, markets and the economy. He is a former SMH business editor.

Australia is getting played for a mug with tax dodging

Michael West PayPal and eBay seem hell bent on making as little as possible. Why? Simple, if you make a profit, you have to pay tax on it.

Wall of Chinese capital buying up Australian properties

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Michael West Anti-money laundering legislation may be the only way to discourage Chinese investment in Australian properties and moderate rising house prices.

eBay's no teddy bear when it comes to tax

Michael West The tale of global company eBay's tax affairs is worthy of Hollywood fantasy.

Crackdown on multinational tax avoidance likely to be thwarted, says expert

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 08:  The first protest against the upcoming G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane was held by the Micah Challenge Anti-Poverty Campaign where protestors created a mock tax haven at Redacliff Place on November 8, 2014 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Michelle Smith/Fairfax Media)

Michael West The G20's efforts to crack down on multinational tax avoidance are likely to be defeated by national self-interest, particularly from the United States, a top tax adviser says.

Complex tax laws a goose to overseas firms

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Michael West Someone once said that a good tax system enables the government to pluck the feathers from the taxpaying goose with the least amount of hissing, says Rod Houng-Lee.

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Trade deals acronym really translates to 'we lose'

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Michael West The government is not merely determined to strip away the rights of its citizens on grounds of terror, it is also delivering powerful new rights to corporations on grounds of trade.

Big Pharma's secret pricing tactics keep staff and ATO in the dark

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Michael West Even the top ranking Australian executives at big pharma companies are kept in the dark by transfer pricing

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Tax avoiders: Apple joins other multinationals in sinking to the bottom of the ocean

Apple executive Jennifer Bailey at a presentation in San Francisco this week.

Michael West Apple is sitting on the biggest pile of cash in corporate history, some $US200 billion stowed offshore, safely out of reach of frustrated US tax authorities.

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American Express pays no tax on multibillion-dollar Australian operation for seven years

In four of the seven years, American Express received a tax refund rather than making a tax payment.

Michael West American Express has in effect paid no income tax on its multibillion-dollar operation in Australia for seven years.

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Chevron's tax whinge doesn't stack up

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Michael West Before complaining, the United States oil giant should start paying.

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Adani a dud candidate for government support

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Michael West Adani's opportunity to lose money may be too good for the government to refuse.

Pfizer, GlaxosmithKline leaning on the taxpayer

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Michael West They may get humungous subsidies from Australian taxpayers, they may fork out a mere skerrick of tax in Australia themselves, but don't you worry, Big Pharma and the corporate tax lobby will tell you...

NSW puts seniors in a spin with AGL endorsement

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Michael West The National Party has entered into an exclusive arrangement with energy giant AGL to sell discount power plans to Seniors Card holders.

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Solution to housing affordability staring politicians in the face

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Michael West That an entire generation of young Australians has been shut out of the Melbourne and Sydney property markets is bad enough.

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DHR International leaves bill with Australian government

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Michael West Why is the Australian government picking up the tab for a global headhunting firm?

News Corp shows it's all about how you present the numbers

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Michael West News Corp paid an average $32.6 million in income tax a year. If the government were to tighten the screws on multinational tax avoiders, it could start by looking at the way financial statements are...

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Iron ore inquiry loses out to more important matters – like a fence

Michael West After a brutal lobbying campaign by BHP and Rio, Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey knocked the idea for an inquiry into iron ore on the head. No big deal, there are far more important inquiries at hand.

Pfizer is a tax fizzer

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Michael West There were predictions the budget would save as much as $5 billion from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) over five years.

Chevron parents leave ATO an orphan

Chevron is under fire over tax.

Michael West Secretive oil major Chevron Corp has taken the art of tax avoidance to its ultimate form, thanks to a scheme so aggressive that it goes beyond merely reducing exposure to income tax.

Big pharma shuffles the tax pill

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Michael West Viagra maker Pfizer's tax structures are a "vulgar artifice", says a tax expert.