Businesses today are doing a lot of work with technology companies offering cloud solutions. At the same time there are huge issues with global companies working to avoid local taxes.
The technology is terrific and does offer serious benefits, especially to small and medium businesses where we can now turn on features that once cost us tens of thousands of dollars to access on server-based software.
There is no doubt that a business of just one person can now use the same productivity tools that were the domain of enterprise clients just 10 years ago.
Many of the providers have fantastically friendly sales staff who are happy to provide us with cloud software and local support services to get it up and going. However, I encourage you to have a look at their billing policies and make sure they are being a responsible Australian corporate citizen.
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If the bills require payment via Dublin or the Cayman Islands or other known tax havens you may want to ask for a different arrangement to make sure they are paying their share of our local taxes.
Cloud companies have been seen to offer a local banking address but then provide offshore banking details with a swift code that is not local. If you are transferring money to one of these offshore bank accounts you may be giving your suppliers a free kick that really is not the best thing for Australia.
Whether it is a personal service or a business expense, when our suppliers don’t pay tax it places a heavier tax burden on our businesses and our staff.
So please ask your suppliers to offer your business local billing arrangements that ensure they are paying goods and services tax and tax on profits. After all, their staff are using the same local infrastructure and government services as we are paying for.
How are you paying for your cloud services to multinational providers? Are you happy with it?
David Markus is the founder of Combo, the IT services company that is known for business IT that makes sense. How can we help?