What can open data tell us about Australia's major banks?
Article (833 words) posted on 20 Apr 2018 by Rosie Williams
Collectively, over the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 Australia's major banks earned over $600 billion in income but paid tax on only $1.45 billion (21% of their revenue).
Of that 21% revenue, Australia's major banks paid a total of $34 billion in tax to the ATO.
According to these calculations, the average top-earning bank pays an effective tax rate of just 22.69%.
At the same time, returns to the AEC show that these same corporations paid a total of $21,733,192 in political donations to political parties with Westpac standing out with donations totalling of nearly $12 million during the 2014-15 financial year alone.
Over this same period, some of these banks also received Commonwealth tenders:
According to the ATO the data my calculations are based on:
Data contained within the report is taken directly from tax returns, and does not reflect any intervention or compliance work undertaken by the ATO after lodgment [sic] of the return - for example, amended assessments issued following audits. Settlements relating to prior-year matters are also not reflected in this report as they generally occur during an ATO review or audit process. The report data will always contain information supplied two years prior to the publication date.
If you click on the donation totals for the past 3 years of available data, you can drill down to see individual donations and the parties who received these donations. You can also see the tax transparency data for each year. While the raw data comes from the ATO and AEC, the percentages and totals are calculated by the author.