Interactive data company Mediaworks has said it has filed a dispute over a “significant” increase in its levy on data services fees.
The company said it would appeal a decision by the Tax Tribunal, which upheld a higher tax rate for its services in February.
News.com and Mediaworks are the main competitors for the advertising and online media industries.
The two companies also operate a business called Vodafone Australia that also operates a data service business.
The Tax Tribunal found Mediaworks owed the Australian Tax Office $11.3 million in tax in 2016.
Mediaworks had claimed the $11 million was due to “non-compliance” with the GST regime.
However, the Tax Office said it was due on the basis of “noncompliance” that year.
News and Media’s statement said it had submitted its case in response to the Tax Commissioner’s recent decision to lower the tax rate from 20 per cent to 17 per cent.
It said it submitted its appeal to the tribunal because the “federal Government has changed the tax system in recent years, including the new GST regime which was introduced in March 2018”.
It said the lower rate had “made it more difficult for some of our business to continue to operate, and has affected our ability to invest in the development of new business models and new technologies that we need to provide a secure and efficient service”.
“The Federal Government has a duty to ensure that our businesses are competitive and to ensure there is fairness in the taxation of businesses,” the statement said.
The case is the latest in a series of tax disputes for the Australian companies.
Earlier this year, Mediaworks was ordered to pay the Tax Department $10.3m for alleged tax evasion.
The Australian Taxation Office last year fined Mediaworks $5.9 million after it claimed it had been “fraudulently” claiming “unjust and unlawful” GST.
MediaWorks and the Federal Government are both seeking to strike an interim agreement that would allow them to continue operating until the Government decides whether to approve the proposed interim agreement.