Aldi says it pays its Australian taxes despite Wesfarmers insinuations
Aldi has responded to insinuation by Wesfarmers Chief Executive Richard Goyder that the supermarket was not meeting their Australian tax obligations.
Earlier in the week, Mr Goyder had said at an American Chamber of Commerce that someone should “go and have a good look at how much tax Aldi pays in this country”.
The German discount supermarket chain has responded by saying that they are meeting their Australian tax obligations. Aldi said that its “average corporate tax rate was 31 per cent of net profit” and that the company paid AUD $81.6 million worth of tax in 2013. A recent Australian Senate inquiry listed a number of international companies that were being audited by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for corporate tax avoidance. Aldi was not named in this list of companies.
Being a privately-owned company, Aldi does not have to publicly disclose how much it earns. However from October 2015, the ATO will be obligated by law to disclose publicly the names of all companies which have sales over $100 million in Australia and particular financial information – including details of the total sales, taxable income and income tax payable by each such company.
The argument over tax comes at a time when Aldi is expanding into the South Australian and Western Australian markets. According to UBS analyst Ben Gilbert (quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald) Aldi Australia’s sales rose about 13 per cent to $6 billion in calendar 2014, and he said Aldi’s sales in Australia could exceed $9 billion by 2019 – representing a big chunk of Australia’s grocery market worth $88million in annual sales.