Auto Crane at DP World
0 5 mins 7 mths

DP World, the naming sponsor of the European Tour, is a major tax minimiser. It is one of those large corporations that does its level best to legally pay as little tax as possible. Perhaps, this is why it can afford to sponsor golf to this extent? However, in my opinion, DP World doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes. As much as I wish for elite professional golfers to be able to earn lots of prize money I reckon that governments like Australia require tax revenue to fund health, education, and infrastructure more.

“DP World is one of the biggest port operators in Australia. 

While it’s generated $4.5 billion in total revenue in the past eight years it has not paid a dollar in corporate income tax.

That’s the contention of a CICTAR report that suggests the company made payments to offshore related entities and has an ownership structure that straddles The Netherlands, the Cayman Islands and Dubai.

All are known as ‘tax havens’, with conditions favourable to multinational companies.

Again, there are no allegations of illegal activity or behaviour by the company or the people who work for it.

Taxpayers have, at least in some part, supported DP World’s success.

From 2006 to 2020, DP World held a Department of Home Affairs contract that saw it paid $138 million for “material handling services”. An earlier (2006-2012) contract with Australian Customs and Border Protection handed the company $70.6 million for “temporary personnel services”. “

DP World Gateway to London Gateway
Gateway to London Gateway by Glyn Baker is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

DP World Doing Business Here But Paying No Corporate Tax

DP World employ specialist accountants to minimise their tax liability by shifting profits to low taxing territories around the world. Around 32% of all the largest companies doing business in Australia paid no tax at all in Australia. This is a problem for the nation and poses a similar problem for countries around the world. Now, you might be one of those people that think this is smart business but eventually this will come home to bite you. It may be the degradation of services that you, your kids, or your family depend upon. It may be the lack of government funding for things that a wealthy developed nation should have.

In the end, the behaviour of companies and accounting entities like PwC are doing serious damage to the future of Australia.

businessmen having a toast
Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels.com

Golf On The Nose With DP World Tour

Supporting companies that employ tax minimisation to the extent that DP World does is, in my view, sending the wrong message. These companies do business in a safe and democratic country like Australia – and they should pay their fair share of tax on this basis.

Microsoft is another major tax minimiser:

“In the 2020/2021 financial year, Microsoft had total income of $5.02 billion. On a taxable income of $336 million it ended up paying $94 million in tax.”

  • (Daniel Ziffer, ABC News, 5 Nov 2023)

All the big tech companies like Google, Amazon, and the miners minimise their tax substantially to the detriment of the nation.

“That includes Adani Mining Pty Ltd, one AGL entity, Alcoa Australian Holdings, Ampol, Anglo American Australia, ExxonMobil Australia, two Glencore entities, a Peabody Australia holding company, Santos, two Shell energy entities, Whitehaven coal, Woodside Petroleum, and Yancoal Australia.”

Golf is a great game, which prides itself on the integrity of its players. There are strict rules of golf in place. It is a shame that both men’s tours are associated with entities like Saudi Arabia and DP World that have questionable practices. Gaming the system is not what golf is about, in my view. The economics need not shaft the ethical integrity of the game. You and I play golf because we love the game, it is good to remember this when evaluating those in the business of golf.

money on a tote bags and coins on the table
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