Published on 14th February 2018 at 14:06

Today’s reporting by the ABC on company tax is an oversimplified analysis of an issue that has
already received wide coverage.

It has been very well publicised that Qantas has not paid company tax because of equally well
publicised financial losses. Once our profits exceed those losses, we’ll start paying company tax

The notion that Qantas shouldn’t argue in favour of company tax cuts because of its financial losses
and resulting tax status is nonsense. And it ignores the benefit to the broader economy that lower
tax rates will bring.

As a company responsible for almost 1 per cent of Australia’s GDP, our ability to keep growing jobs and investing in our people depends on the health of the Australian economy – and competitive tax rates are key.

Some facts:

  • It’s totally false to claim, as some have, that Qantas is not sharing the benefits of its turnaround.
    A total of $220 million has been set aside for three rounds of annual bonuses for 25,000 of our
    non-executive employees and our recent wage increases of 3 per cent is significantly higher than
    inflation. We are creating new jobs, investing in new aircraft and offering training to thousands
    of our people.
  • Our recent profits have generated large amounts of taxable income for the Australian Government in the form of almost $200 million in unfranked dividends paid out to our shareholders since 2016. (Because we are not currently paying any company tax, we don’t have any franking credits.)
  • We have around $950 million of tax losses left to work through and, thanks to the turnaround of
    the airline, we expect to return to paying company tax soon. This is entirely consistent with
    Australian tax law and similar to tax law overseas. This is explained in our Tax Transparency
    Report here.
  • There is a tax component to most of the millions of transactions that the Qantas Group undertakes each year – including GST, fringe benefit tax and payroll tax, right through to taxes like passenger movement charges. In the 2016/17 financial year, the Qantas Group paid and collected a combined total of $3.2 billion in taxes, up by 14 per cent on the prior year.