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  • Demographics of large corporate groups

    Large corporate groups make a significant contribution to the Australian economy and play a critical role in the tax system. They're important in creating community confidence in our tax system. Confidence is gained directly by their tax contribution, and indirectly because their compliance underpins willing participation in other taxpayer segments.

    Definition of a large corporate group

    We define a large corporate group as one with a group turnover greater than $250 million. There are approximately 1,720 large corporate groups with nearly 7,000 income tax reporting entities in Australia. This represents over 30,000 active companies. These groups include Australian public, Australian private and majority foreign-owned businesses.

    Large corporate groups – ownership, 2018–19

    Graph displaying the breakdown of ownership for large corporate groups in the 2018–19 financial year: 33 per cent Australian private (570), 46 per cent majority foreign-owned (790), 21 per cent Australian public (360). 1,720 corporate groups.

    Large corporate groups – total business income, 2018–19

    Graph displaying the breakdown of total business income by ownership for large corporate groups in the 2018–19 financial year: 10 per cent Australian private ($215 billion), 39 per cent majority foreign-owned ($803 billion), 51 per cent Australian public ($1,048 billion). $2.1 trillion total business income.

    Large corporate groups – total profits, 2018–19

    Graph displaying the breakdown of total business profits by ownership for large corporate groups by ownership in the 2018–19 financial year: 6 per cent Australian private ($17 billion), 31 per cent majority foreign-owned ($82 billion), 63 per cent Australian public ($165 billion). $264 billion in total profits.

    How much tax large corporate groups pay

    The amount of tax payable by large corporate groups has fluctuated over time. This generally reflects changes in economic conditions that impact on the largest taxpayers, in particular, fluctuations in the Australian dollar (AUD) price of commodities such as iron ore. This can be seen in the tax paid by diversified miners and other energy and resources groups.

    Large corporate groups – contribution to tax revenue, 2012–13 to 2018–19

    Graph displaying the contributions to tax revenue by industry segments from 2012–13 to 2018–19. In the 2018–19 year large diversified miners contributed $10 billion; other mining, energy and water $13 billion; major banks $10 billion; other financial services $7 billion; wholesale, retail and services $12 billion; manufacturing, construction and agriculture $4 billion. Total large corporate groups income tax reported for the 2018–19 year was $56.2 billion.

    The number of large corporate groups in the Australian tax system is comparatively small, yet the impact they have on revenue is significant.

    Large corporate groups – contribution to tax revenue, 2018–19

    There are approximately 1,720 corporate groups each with a turnover of above $250 million who collectively generate $2.1 trillion in total business income and $56.2 billion of the $88 billion in corporate income tax reported.

    Tax contribution from these 1,720 large corporate groups is equivalent to around 64 per cent of all corporate income tax reported and 13 per cent of total ATO collections.

    The largest corporate groups contribute a significant proportion to overall corporate income tax collections.

    Large corporate groups – concentration of tax contribution, 2018–19

    Largest 10 corporate groups reported $24.6 billion or 28 per cent of all corporate income tax reported.

    Largest 100 corporate groups reported $43.2 billion or 49 per cent of all corporate income tax reported.

    While Australian public businesses only make up 21% of these 1,720 large corporate groups, they pay 66% of the corporate income tax payable, as against 51% of the gross income, for this group. This is driven by the significant profits earned by a relatively small number of very large Australian-owned groups. Once these companies are excluded, the overall performance of other Australian public companies, private companies and majority foreign-owned companies are relatively similar.

    Large corporate groups – ownership and tax contribution, 2018–19

    Graph displaying the breakdown of total tax contribution for large corporate groups by ownership in the 2018–19 financial year: 6 per cent Australian private ($3 billion), 28 per cent majority foreign-owned ($16 billion), 66 per cent Australian public ($37 billion). $56.2 billion in tax reported.

    Large corporate groups are involved in a diverse range of sectors across the economy. Those in the Banking, Finance and Investment, and Mining, Energy and Water industries number less than one-quarter (22%) of all large corporate groups, earn one-third (35%) of business income but contribute more than two-thirds (67%) of large corporate income tax.

    Large corporate groups – industry demographics (number), 2018–19

    Graph displaying the breakdown of the 1,720 large corporate groups by industry segment: 52 per cent wholesale, retail and services; 3 per cent insurance; 9 per cent mining, energy and water; 13 per cent banking, finance and investment; 23 per cent manufacturing, construction and agriculture.

    Large corporate groups – industry demographics (business income), 2018–19

    Graph displaying the breakdown of business income of large corporates groups by industry segment for 2018–19: 43 per cent wholesale, retail and services; 6 per cent insurance; 21 per cent mining, energy and water; 14 per cent banking, finance and investment; 16 per cent manufacturing, construction and agriculture. Total business income for 2018–19 was $2.1 trillion.

    Large corporate groups – industry demographics (tax reported), 2018–19

    Graph displaying the breakdown of tax reported by large corporate groups by industry segment in 2018–19: 22 per cent wholesale, retail and services; 4 per cent insurance; 41 per cent mining, energy and water; 26 per cent banking, finance and investment; 7 per cent manufacturing, construction and agriculture. Total tax reported for 2018–19 was $56.2 billion.

    Last modified: 22 Feb 2021QC 53277