TAXATION AND TRANSPARENCY

The Star Entertainment Group (formerly known as Echo Entertainment Group) takes pride in its leadership role in the gaming and entertainment industry in Australia and embraces a culture of social responsibility, ethical behaviour and community engagement to support and promote sustainable business practices.  This culture is reflected in a partnership approach that includes working with individuals, government and community stakeholders. The Star Entertainment Group operates in a highly regulated industry and is committed to managing all taxes in a responsible manner with regard to the commercial and social imperatives for the long term sustainability of our business and our stakeholders.

The Star Entertainment Group's Tax Corporate Governance framework outlines that we should manage our taxes in compliance with tax laws and our responsibilities as a corporate citizen.  We also strive to maintain a proactive and positive relationship with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and other regulatory authorities through regular, open and transparent dialogue.

The Star Entertainment Group is proud of its contribution to the Australian economy and recognises our tax contributions are important to public finances and the social programs they fund.


Taxes Paid in THE 2014 FINANCIAL YEAR

The Star Entertainment Group is a leading owner and operator of integrated resorts and casinos in Australia paying a considerable amount in taxes in Australia both at a state and federal level.  Broadly taxes paid can be split into two categories, those borne by The Star Entertainment Group on its own behalf which contribute to public finances and those collected by The Star Entertainment Group and remitted to the government on behalf of employees or suppliers.

The table below shows the total of all taxes paid by The Star Entertainment Group in the financial year ending 30 June 2014 (FY2014) in Australia. The Star Entertainment Group's activity in other countries is not material to its business (less than 1% of accounting profit).  Foreign subsidiaries are either dormant or providing marketing services. The Star Entertainment Group's focus is on domestic growth rather than international expansion. The distribution of taxes paid reflects the geographical spread of The Star Entertainment Group's businesses. 

The effective rate of taxes paid borne by The Star Entertainment Group for the year ended 30 June 2014 is approximately 74% (being corporate and gaming taxes paid divided by accounting profit before these taxes).

 

Taxes Paid in FY2014 - Contributions

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Contributions $m

 

Level of
Government

Corporate Income Tax

Net Gaming taxes and duties

Employer payroll taxes

Other taxes

Total tax payments borne

Australian federal

44.6

 

1.6

 

46.2

Queensland

 

92.1

9.1

5.1

106.3

New South Wales

 

167.7

14.0

6.3

188.0

Other states

   

0.1

 

0.1

Australian Total

44.6

259.8

24.8

11.4

340.6

Corporate income tax is payable in instalments throughout the financial year and the ultimate liability is reflected in the income tax return lodged with the ATO or other tax authority.  The timing of all payments of income tax (instalments and final payments/refunds) in respect of a financial year does not take place within the financial year they relate to.  A portion of the tax is paid in the first half of the following financial year.  Tax paid in a financial year will therefore include an additional payment or refund in respect of the previous year (see Note F2 of The 2015 Annual Report).

Gaming taxes

The Star Entertainment Group pays gaming taxes and levies in respect of its casino operations in both New South Wales and Queensland.  A percentage of gaming taxes paid by The Star Entertainment Group are directed to community benefit funds.  These funds are allocated, through relevant state governments, to projects benefiting the community via grants to non-profit community organisations, research into gambling and the provision of problem gambling counselling services and initiatives designed to reduce problem gambling behaviour in communities. A portion of the taxes are also directed to National Gambling Help Line services.

The amounts disclosed in the Tax paid in FY2014 - Contributions table are net of GST deductions/offsets.  For completeness gross gaming tax amounts are reported where appropriate in other forums including publications and presentations.

Employer payroll taxes

With a workforce of more than 8,000 employees across New South Wales and Queensland, payroll and employer taxes paid in respect of employees are significant.  This includes taxes such as payroll tax and fringe benefits tax.

Other taxes

The Star Entertainment Group pays other taxes such as property taxes and car parking levies.

Taxes paid in FY2014 - Collections

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Collections $m

Level of  Government

Employee Paroll  taxes

GST

Australian federal

122.1
119.9

Queensland

New South Wales

Other states

Australian Total

122.1
119.9
Employee payroll taxes
The Star Entertainment Group withholds taxes and superannuation guarantee levy from salaries and wages, these taxes are collected and remitted to federal government and third party superannuation funds.

GST
This is the net amount of goods and services tax collected on sales and purchases from suppliers. These monies are collected and remitted monthly to the government.
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ATO Public Disclosure

In late 2015, the Commission of Taxation will publicly disclose the following details in respect of The Star Entertainment Group income tax return for the year ended 30 June 2014 (the ITR).

Total Income1 $1,808,805,096
Taxable Income2 $138,767,862
Income tax payable $38,411,671
 
Total Income

Total income reported in the ITR represents gross income for accounting purposes (ie. Income before expenses are taken into account) plus finance income. Total income is not an indicator of the accounting or taxable profits of an organisation.
To illustrate this is a reconciliation of The Star Entertainment Group’s total income to accounting profit for the year ended 30 June 2014.
 

Revenue3 $1,805,660,413
Finance Income4 $3,144,683
Total Income (per ITR) $1,808,805,096
Less: Total expenses ($1,655,310,646)
Accounting profit5 $153,494,450

Reconciliation of profit to taxable income

A reconciliation of The Star Entertainment Group's accounting profit to taxable income for the year ended 30 June 2014, as reported in the ITR, is set out below:

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It is not uncommon for Companies to have an effective rate of tax paid lower than the Australian corporate tax rate of 30%. There are a number of valid reasons this arises and does not imply that tax minimisation strategies are being employed. In The Star Entertainment Group’s case, there are a number of legitimate reasons why The Star Entertainment Group’s effective rate of tax paid is lower than the Australian corporate rate.
 

Research & Development (R&D) tax incentive

The Government is trying to encourage companies to undertake R&D activities for the benefit of the Australian economy. This is done through a non-refundable offset. As part of its business strategy The Star Entertainment Group engages in a significant amount in R&D, of which some is entitled to the R&D tax incentive. The offset reduces the tax payable by The Star Entertainment Group and the R&D expenditure is then non-deductible. This provides a permanent benefit of 10% of the eligible R&D expenditure (ie. Amount offset exceeds the company tax rate) and a timing benefit.

Accounting profit $153,494,450
Add:  
  Accounting depreciation 138,091,898
  Assessable income 4,278,727
Subtract:  
  Tax depreciation 120,407,409
  Other deductible items6 36,689,804
Taxable income 138,767,862
  Tax on taxable income 41,360,359
  R&D offset (3,218,688)
Tax payable 38,411,671
The effective rate of Australian income tax paid by The Star Entertainment Group for the year ended 30 June 2014 is approximately 29% (being tax paid divided by accounting profit).

Difference between timing for accounting and tax                                                                                                                                                            

The tax law prescribes when certain amounts are taxable and deductible.  Although the amounts are the same for accounting and tax, the timing often differs to that recognised for accounting purposes which gives rise to timing differences.

  • Assessable income’ are amounts taxable on a receipts basis for tax purposes which are recognised over a period of time for accounting purposes. 
  • The difference in depreciation expense for accounting and deduction for tax predominantly relates to depreciation rates.
  • Other deductible items are a net amount that includes non-deductible items such as entertainment, and mainly relates to the difference in timing of liabilities for expenses (eg. provisions and accruals).

Reconciliation to statutory accounts

Taxable Corporate Taxpayers are required to lodge their tax returns 61/2 months after their year-end and The Star Entertainment Group generally releases its Statutory Accounts two months after year end.  Consequently, while the tax calculation performed for the Statutory Accounts is materially correct based on enacted tax law at the time it is not same as the lodged tax return.  For this reason a true up adjustment is required to adjust the difference between the tax provision at Statutory Accounts and the tax return (as illustrated in the table below). 

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Current tax per statutory accounts

$39,696,903

Current tax per ITR

$38,411,671

(Under)/over

$1,285,232


1 As reported at Item 6(S) of the FY2014 ITR
2 As reported at Item 7(T) of the FY2014 ITR
3 Refer to Note 3 page 84 of The Star Entertainment Group’s 2014 Annual Report
4 Refer to Note 9 page 84 of The Star Entertainment Group’s 2014 Annual Report
5 Refer to page 75 of The Star Entertainment Group’s 2014 Annual Report, adjusted for losses relating to overseas entities.
6 Sum of amounts reported at Item 7(W), (Z) and (X) of the FY2014 ITR, reduced for accounting depreciation shown separately.