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Piss off ya nasty old bludger

According to a 2015 headline in Rupert Murdoch’s rag, The Australian, “No, the rich don’t pay a ‘fair share’ of tax. They pay all of it.”

The hypocrisy of a Murdoch-owned entity discussing tax is overwhelming.

In 1999 the BBC published an article clearly setting out Murdoch’s well-known strategy for tax avoidance.

“in the four years to 30 June last year, Mr Murdoch’s News Corporation and its subsidiaries paid only A$325m (£128m) in corporate taxes worldwide. That translates as 6% of the A$5.4bn consolidated pre-tax profits for the same period.

Further research reveals that Mr Murdoch’s main British holding company, Newscorp Investments, has paid no net corporation tax within these shores over the past 11 years. This is despite accumulated pre-tax profits of nearly £1.4bn. Payments were made in some years, but in others rebates were claimed.

…analysts suggest Mr Murdoch’s team broadly employ three strategies:

  • Tax relief claimed on debt interest repayments.
  • A reliance on off-shore tax havens.
  • Exploiting global differences in accounting standards.

The first principle, which effectively allows companies to off-set profits against previous losses, is well established, says Iain Stewart, a partner with the accountancy firm KPMG.

“If you were going into a country with a high tax rate you would tend to finance any investment into that country using debt,” he says.

This effectively involves getting the holding company to lend money to the newly-formed, loss-making company.

About 60 News Corp subsidiaries are incorporated in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.

No- or low-tax havens are a tried and tested method of minimising contributions to the public coffers. Havens such as the Isle of Man and Jersey simply require companies not trading there to make an annual one-off corporation tax payment.

Hong Kong, now a part of China, where Mr Murdoch is conducting an increasing amount of business, has a corporation tax rate which, at 17%, is more than half that of the US.

News Corp’s status as a truly multinational company enables it to make the most of varying accounting standards around the world. Australia, for example, where the company is incorporated, has some of the most relaxed accounting principles in the developed world.”

Despite everyone knowing for decades that Murdoch refuses to pay his “fair share” of tax to the countries that have made him a billionaire, he is allowed to continue on his merry way, still exploiting the exact same tactics.

In February 2014, the ATO was forced to pay Rupert Murdoch $880m because, in 1989, he restructured his company using the tax haven in Bermuda.

The restructure was funded by two cheques, totalling $3.27 billion, drawn on the account held by subsidiary News Finance at the Pitt Street, Sydney, branch of the Commonwealth Bank.

However, the money flowed back into the account the same day the cheque was drawn.

News subsequently claimed deductions for foreign exchange losses incurred because it later paid back loans denominated in US dollars in Australian dollars, which had fallen in value.

News Corp has also been on the losing side in tax cases. In 2010 it settled a tax avoidance case for $77 million after the Murdochs listed the family company Kayarem on the Bermuda stock exchange days before it was sold to News in 2005, to sidestep $52 million in Australian stamp duty.

In September 2014, a report by the Tax Justice Network – an international group focused on investigating tax avoidance – revealed that Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox pays 1 per cent tax

Then in April 2015, it was further revealed that Rupert Murdoch’s media empire in the US has siphoned off $4.5 billion of cash and shares from his Australian media businesses in the past two years, virtually tax free by means of a dodgy share deal.

Normally a company will return cash to its offshore parent by way of dividends from shares or interest from loans. These however attract withholding tax. Murdoch, instead, created a $2 company at the top of its web of Australian companies. This company, News Australia Holdings, then issued 77 billion shares to News Corporation in New York. The siphoning off of cash could then be called “a return of capital.”

A Senate inquiry in May 2015 was told that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is ATO’s top tax risk. Four years ago, 13 of the country’s biggest companies were in Q1, the ATO’s highest-risk category for tax avoidance, but now only News Corp Australia remains, reflecting what is described as a secretive, aggressive approach to the ATO.

Then in January this year, Australian Taxation Office data revealed that 8 of the 10 media companies that paid no income tax in Australia in 2014 are linked to the Murdoch family.

So before they demonise the unemployed, the disabled, and people like Duncan Storrar who had the temerity to ask why we give tax breaks to the wealthy, let’s be clear about who are the real takers, the users, the leaners.

If what Rupert Murdoch has done is not illegal then the laws are wrong.

I am sick of this blood-sucking leech, who contributes nothing to society, dictating to us. I am disgusted that when he crooks his finger, world leaders come running rather than risk the vitriole that his vile papers have poured out on people like Julia Gillard and Duncan Storrar.

Rupert, you are not the Messiah. You are just a very greedy, nasty old man.


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  1. ImagiNation

    Kaye Lee well done. At least someone is talking about the real issue which is tax avoidance and not weather or not Duncan Storrar has a right to life.

  2. flohri1754

    IF I could have put it better, I would have, but I can’t …. so I won’t ….. good and concise view there which reinforces my determination to continue avoiding giving anything to the Murdoch vaults.

  3. kerrilmail

    There’s an old saying my mum had which applies to Murdoch, Reinhart, Forrest etc.
    What’s yours is mine. What’s mine’s me own.

  4. Florence nee Fedup

    Same old Liberals. All for themselves.

  5. Terry2

    Extract from a 2013 report on tax havens from the Age :

    “News Corporation has more than 70 subsidiaries across the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Luxembourg and Mauritius. The company is registered in the US state of Delaware, which has attracted its own criticism for sheltering post-box companies taking advantage of the state’s soft tax rules.”

    This is a powerful argument against giving the states the power to impose and collect their own income taxes : there will always be some cute state Premier who will seize the opportunity of becoming a low tax domicile and off we go again.

  6. babyjewels10

    I was hoping a barrister would come forward and sue the pants of the Herald Sun et al. Because I’m pretty sure many of the headlines were libel.

  7. Matters Not

    If what Rupert Murdoch has done is not illegal then the laws are wrong

    As I understand it, the Budget provides funds for the creation of a ‘special’ section with the ATO whose role will be ‘to crack down’ on Tax avoidance. Almost a complete waste of time. Necessary but not sufficient.

    There’s at least two forces in play here. First, there’s the inadequacy of the ‘law’ itself. Any number of ex ATO public servants point out that it’s the ‘law’ that must be changed. While I haven’t heard any promises in that area (been away), without changes to legislation, then it’s just bulls#it.

    Second, there is the ‘dynamics’ of the interplay between Treasury and the ATO re tax collection. Large transnational companies play the legal delaying game. Here’s a hypothetical. Company X has been hit with a tax assessment of $10 million (which they dispute and promise a spirited, expensive, legal defense that might go on for five to ten years or so.) This company X makes an offer of $1 million as settlement, pointing out that if the ATO loses its case there will be a ‘loophole’ that other companies will also exploit. So, is it better to accept an ‘out of court’ settlement of $1 million now or $10 million down the track?

    Enter Treasury. Their interest is concentrated on the yearly Budget. it’s in their interests to get a $1 million settlement in the current financial year rather than a potential bonanza sometime in the distant future. It’s why these cases rarely reach court. often it’s Treasury pushing for a settlement; any settlement. All tactics. No strategy.

  8. Miriam English

    Well said Kaye.

    I’ll say it again. We need a politician with the guts to take Murdoch’s democracy-destroying toys away from him.

    We could nationalise the Australian part of his empire under anti-monopoly laws and sell them off to other companies for a tidy profit. That might help to get back some of the money he has siphoned off from our country and return some sense to public discourse. It might also encourage other timid politicians around the world to do the same.

    We might suddenly see the nasty bugger do a Humpty Dumpty. I can’t think of anybody more deserving of that fate.

    How the hell does someone get to 85 years old, remain such a total asshole, and learn so little about the world?

  9. Marilyn Riedy

    Murdoch has far too much control of media in Australia! The Daily Telegraph cannot report truthfully on political issues. Murdoch is a supporter of Badgery’s Creek airport and does not print differing opinions.

  10. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’m proud to say I challenged Damon Johnston on ABC774 radio on Friday afternoon in the journo segment of Raf Epstein’s segment with this question: Can you tell your boss, Rupert Murdoch to pay his taxes so that the government can afford to pay for more public housing so that there won’t be any homeless people on Elizabeth St, Melbourne?

    (Damon and his rag, the odious Herald Sun had been bitching about outrageous homeless people making other upright citizens uncomfortable by their plight whilst also damaging Duncan Storrer’s reputation for daring to ask Kellie O’Dwyer a question about the unfair tax concessions to the rich or semi-rich on Q&A.)

    I also challenged the editor of Fairfax, Mark something, who happily explained the journalist sackings at Fairfax, were an economic decision despite my accusation that Fairfax just wanted to dumb down the reading public so it becomes like the odious Herald Sun.

    Epstein then asked if I bought any papers and I said yes but not the Herald Sun coz I wouldn’t waste my money on it. I must have offended someone coz I was thanked and cut off! 🙂

    Once I got it off my chest, I felt very good.

  11. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    the answer is known as ‘favoured only son syndrome’. Both Uncle Rupe and Rabid Abbott suffer from the ailment where they were born into families of multiple daughters and only ONE son.

    Hence their chauvinistic fathers and docile mothers give them such attention that one day they are 85 and 59 respectively still thinking their own shit don’t stink.

    I take pleasure in pulling those types down to the ground.

  12. Wayne Turner

    I wish this terrorist to our democracy Rupert Murdoch would hurry up and die.Along with all his media.

  13. Wayne Turner

    On another media NOTE: I wish the ABC would stop talking to Murdoch media employed hacks.It’s NOT news,it’s lazy,they are BIASED,are NOT experts,and already have their own crap outlet to air their rubbish.

    ABC = Also Biased Crap.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Look at Rupert’s tax record along with that of many others (possibly including our current PM) and tell me again why we should cut company tax rates?

    “despite the government’s claims about the fabulously beneficial effects of the company tax cut, if you actually read its own modelling you discover the benefits are tiny – and would take 30 years to arrive.”

  15. Sam

    Wayne has a point. I know that a channel that likes to view itself as impartial like the ABC would feel a need to have opinions from all sides but when you have the Murdoch media sources constantly calling for the ABC’s funding to be slashed or the channel to be privatized and so on, what is the point trying to appear impartial by giving them a voice? They could give 90% of their airtime to Murdoch hacks and his papers would still be full of anti-abc rhetoric.

    They can still provide a platform for Coalition members and right wing personalities and so on but at this point, it seems pointless giving that Murdoch lot a voice.

  16. Jack Russell

    Thanks Kaye, I always look forward your work!

    Perhaps we could expand on your idea Miriam. There’s a lot of utilities, services, real estate, land and infrastructure to take back too. I mean take, not buy, then put back into public hands. The carpetbagger class have well and truly had their profits, so not a penny more for them. A national bank or two would also work wonders.

    Just think of all the well paid jobs, apprenticeships, trade schools, career paths, etcetera, that would create and support humming economy that didn’t sell off or outsource our nation’s essentials and security to foreign corporate interests.


  17. ImagiNation

    Makes you wonder how Mick Jager is feeling doesn’t it….

  18. Kaye Lee

    Mick was one in a succession of rich men used for their wealth rather than their attraction. If I was Jerry, I would be feeling dirty and I don’t mean in a sexual way.

    If I was a friend or relative of Rupert’s I would feel embarrassed about his need to renew the woman on his arm so often.

    But that is not my business any more than Duncan’s private life is.

  19. Jack Russell

    Oh, and a PS: Murdock is a golem obsessed with fondling his Precious.

  20. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Good comment, Kaye. No puffed up assumptions manipulated for political benefit. Although, it does make me remark on the fact that people recognised by media get such accepted respect.

    The default position Should be the common person regardless of gender, private equity status or public recognition.

    PS For the male perception of ownership of Jerry Hall. Who effing cares what Jagger thinks?

    And who cares what old Uncle Rupe will think in about 5 minutes too.

    The only one who I think has lost their soul when she did not need to was Hall.

    Reputation further sullied by cloning onto useless males. Stupid woman.

  21. Aortic

    Powerful stuff Kaye. I always fondly remember a wonderful interview with the brilliant Dennis Potter and the erudite Melvyn Bragg. Potter was on his last legs, having to swallow his palliative medicine throughout, but was as incisive as ever. When asked by Bragg, what would he do if he met Murdoch he replied, ” I would shoot the bugger.” Great shame they never met.

  22. Miriam English

    Thank you Aortic for prompting me to look this up.
    Dennis Potter talking to Melvyn Bragg in the interview you referred to — just the part where he talks about Rupert Murdoch. It is well worth watching. He says it so well.

  23. Miriam English

    Oh, and my guess is Mick Jagger is probably thinking good riddance to bad rubbish.

  24. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I have a tweetch of conscience as I counter your concern of Feminists being improportionally mean.

    However, I ask you to remember this dialogue of when we discussed what was fair for multiple women (and men) to interpret ugly old Uncle Rupe’s ownership over people. His newest wife, Jerry, is a good example of a gender trophy.

    For those less fortunate in monetary terms, need to divvy up what is reasonable division between women’s and men’s expectations. While Uncle Rupe is in control of most public dialogue (besides beautiful social media), what hope do ordinary Aussies have?

  25. philgorman2014

    Of course we’re in a class war, and it’s being waged by the rich against the poor and their supporters.

    Citizen Murdoch is leading yet another charge against the ABC for giving a poor man to a few moments to speak truth to power.

    As to the serf who had the temerity to point out what a difference $6 can make to his life; he’s just a bloody whinging ingrate. Get the little swine pilloried and give him a damned good flogging! Got to keep the lower orders under control don’t your know, or who knows where it will end.

  26. PC

    I’m with everyone that Murdoch and his rag writers are reprehensible creatures, and I would certainly like to see him stripped from owning any media.

    But just focusing on Murdoch’s 6 day attempt to character assassinate vulnerable people in our society misses a deeper more disturbing reality. Which is, Murdoch has demonstrated to the public the fact that we have a real strain of fascism in Australia.

  27. PC

    Plato said it best about scum like Murdoch.

    Until philosophers are kings, or when the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one, cities will never have rest from these evils.

  28. Miriam English

    PC, unfortunately some degree of fascism is part of humanity. Like it or not we are all the same people as those in Nazi Germany, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, South Africa’s Apartheid, Slobodan Milošević’s Serbia and Yugoslavia, the USA’s Confederate slave owners. There is nothing really to separate us from those destructive tendencies except vigilance against forces that would help them to take over.

    Murdoch and the LNP and the Christian extremists would fan those flames. We need to retard that awful desire for hate and conflict.

    It doesn’t reside outside us in special uniforms and accents. It lives in us all because we are human. We all have the same nasty shadow, no matter how deeply buried. It simply has a more shallow burial in some people than others.

    We can not allow Murdoch to succeed in his genuinely evil attempts to excavate that darkness in people. He would urge it on to ruin us all. We already see some results in the steadfast denial of the dangers of climate destabilisation, the normalisation of torturing refugees, the hysteria that crime is increasing (when it is actually declining), and the perverse brainwashing of people to vote against their own interests, worsening inequality.

    And why does Murdoch do this? Short-term profits. By stoking conflict he draws audience for his papers, TV, and radio. By ensuring the mega-wealthy can do whatever they want he gets to pervert tax laws and select governments for his own financial benefit. He has no grand vision to destroy civilisation. He just wants more money right now. Screw everyone else. His is a truly banal evil.

  29. Miriam English

    If we don’t stop Murdoch then we deserve what we get.

    He, more than any other individual or group presents the greatest single threat to our country. His hatred and greed is damaging the country and could very well sink our economy completely.

    When you look behind the LNP (Liberal National Party) you see the IPA (Institute of Public Affairs) and their poisonous agenda. When you look behind the IPA you see you see Rupert Murdoch counting his money.

  30. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I say we hit Murdoch where it hurts most. His pocket. The way to do that is to take away his media licences and his ability to donate to the LNP and Labor and otherwise to steer public debate.

    That takes vigilance against the lackey decision makers wherever they are in public and private spheres making them accountable to act in Australia’s best interests. If they don’t, they lose their jobs.

    We need to enforce the definitions of Transparency, Accountability and Enforcement. WE do that by diligently demanding authorities publicly through Senate Inquiries, Q&A sessions, public forums, meetings with politicians, etc, etc, over and over again.

  31. Maureen Walton (@maureen_walton)

    LNP The Men who rule and the LNP Women who would love to but were born beneath men. That is their ideology, women are only here to serve them. As for Rupert the air will soon be clear of his rotten energy. And Abbott will slowly leave politics licking his Wounds, bewildered in still thinking that he only tried to do good for all.

  32. Kronomex

    I like the idea of typing “newscoma” into the search box and have google say “Did you mean: newscomau” No, I say, I meant what I typed.When I do my morning news run I always start with “newscoma” then I go and read real papers.

    Will News Corp, once the vicious old bastard kicks the bucket (unless he finds a way to transplant his brain into one of his idiot sons), tear itself apart? We can only hope so.

  33. mark

    Take it easy,jerry and the pacemaker. That bondage and discipline can get nasty.mark

  34. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    ‘jerry and the pacemaker’. That’s priceless!

  35. Sir Scotchmistery

    I was in a coffee shop on Friday and achievable picked up a courier mail. As soon as I did I realised and because I have snakes I had hand cleaner with me.

    Damn that was close. I was having a sandwich as well as coffee.

  36. Brad

    There’s no class or style about a person whose raison d’etre is money. That’s something money can’t buy.

  37. Wam

    Murdoch sits on top of a pile of zealots, a bit like turnball, but rupe’s mob are firmly in his camp. These editors engage their own zealous journalists who fall over themselves to satisfy their interpretations of their editors’ interpretations of rupert’s wishes. The result is that Australians not only lap up the strength of his publications full of disingenuous headings, half truths, exaggerations and lies but also repeat them ad nausium.
    After one week, I am tired of the friends quoting crap and making no effort to challenge.
    They are dismissive of any challenge to turnball’s word as reported by news ltd and deride any attempts I get for them to check any facts.
    The smartest of them have a little laugh at Di natali’s loonies courting turnball’s help. But pragmatism has collateral damage as a consequence.

  38. Stephen Brailey

    Even as a teenager I distinctly remember my horror at Bob Hawke dismantling the media ownership laws to allow Murdoch to start his conquest of our political system by stealth. America also used to have competition laws to prevent the myriad of corupt practices that occur when corporations get to big. Will governments ever again have the courage to actually govern for the people again? Will we the people ever again unite to force the change needed to our democracy without the suffering of 2 world wars and the threat of international communism?

  39. Mike

    Excellent research Kay. I hope that all the tax avoidance methods that you have exposed will be closed by incoming governments in Australia, UK and the US. Public anger demands prosecution with every instrument of state.
    To the extent that his business model relies on tax havens, he’s living on borrowed time.
    Citizens deserve better and we all want good governance that requires the kind of quality journalism that you provide in every article. Fantastic effort.

  40. russ

    Sorry folks…the horse has bolted, too late to close the gates……….Murdock is truly untouchable, he intimidates all govts, he frightens all members, he is answerable only to himself. The “exposing” of the British saga, was just a speed bump, he’s now more wiser/ cunning. What……he has uncovered, and kept under wraps, who knows, but I’ll bet he’s let “those folks” ………do you really have the balls to deny me.
    Just sayin….

  41. mark

    monopoly. Go to gaol [jail] do not pass go.mark

  42. Ian Sprocket Muncher Parfrey

    When it comes to Ruprecht, I personally favour the Mussolini Solution.

    A bit rough? Maybe. But when power is SO concentrated, that is when corruption runs rife.

    So how can Pruneface get away with so much, so often?

    He has the judiciary in his pocket… and THAT is cause for great concern.
    When our so-called Justice System is so open to manipulation, especially when justice is well beyond those in the lower socio-economic demographic, then we as a law-abiding society are well and truly cactus.

    Granted, seeing Ruprecht swinging from the gallows is highly unlikely, so other means have to be countenanced. Instigate splitting up Newscorpse’ media sources, make funding available for Independent sources like The Aimn, and forcing the wizened old ferret to pay the relevant amount of tax….backdated.

    Which brings me back to my original point of a compromised judiciary. IF the judiciary were not compromised, then getting that Israel-arse licking old skank to pay the relevant taxes would be a foregone conclusion.

    But that will never happen. When you have the government, law-makers and the judiciary sucking your sav, then you can do whatever you damn well like.

    ….and so it goes…..

  43. Sir Scotchmistery

    IF the judiciary were not compromised, then getting that Israel-arse licking old skank…

    You sir, just received my vote for sharing views without the interpolation of care. Well effing done.

  44. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Ian Sprocket etc,

    I endorse your forecasted consequences for Rupe and his sycophantic lackeys, who won’t survive scrutiny once Rupe is cactus.

  45. Ian Sprocket Muncher Parfrey

    Sir Scotch and Jennifer.

    I have always imagined Ruprecht to be one of those children who would pull half of the legs off a millipede and charge the other school kids 20 cents to watch it run round in circles.

    He’s that kind of fellow.

  46. Miriam English

    Ian, and then he (Murdoch), while counting his money, would convince himself he was actually performing a valuable public service.

  47. Miriam English

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith, unfortunately the sycophants will survive Murdoch’s end of pulse (he’s been “dead” for decades, in the way fictional vampires and zombies are supposed to be). I seem to recall Chase Carey (President and Chief Operating Officer of News Corp) describing James Murdoch as spoiled and stupid (I can’t remember the exact insult) when James expressed the desire that News Corp become a genuine news company again. I doubt James will hold to his desire as he has rejoined his father as a true believer. Chase Carey is retiring. Apparently Carey is rabidly racist and politically manipulative and a major driver of News Corps’ worst attributes. Maybe News Corp will become merely evil instead of deeply evil.

  48. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Miriam English,

    the sycophants like Chase Carey might escape the wrath but that does not mean other sycophants can’t be weeded out.

    Diffidence at their alleged durability is no deterrence to their ilk finding other ways of entrenching their ugly bigotry, power-lust and neoliberal socio-economic inequalitities.

  49. Kaye Lee

    Let’s not forget Chris Mitchell, the editor of the Australian, who retired late last year

    “According to a News Limited insider, “Mitchell has inculcated a view [at the newspaper] that they are there not only to critique and oversee the government, [but also that] it is their role to dictate policy shifts, that they are the true Opposition.” An angry cabinet minister fumed recently, “The Oz doesn’t report the policy issues. It just reports that big business is shitting on the government, and Abbott is shitting on the government, it reports politics in any way that shits on the government, day after day.” Whether it’s climate change, asylum seekers, industrial relations, the schools building program or the National Broadband Network: “It’s just ‘let’s shit on the government’, every single f*cking day.”

    Chris Mitchell once told a colleague, “You have to understand – this is a dictatorship and I am the dictator.”

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