These companies paid ZERO income tax in Australia in the past SEVEN YEARS and most of the profits have gone offshore
- Companies had combined income from Australian operations of $138billion
- All bar one are foreign owned, so all the profits they made went overseas
- All members of Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association
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Five of the biggest companies operating in Australia’s energy and gas industry have paid no income tax in the past seven years.
Australian Tax Office (ATO) data shows the companies had a combined income from their Australian operations of $138billion, according to the Australia Institute.
‘It’s unbelievable that you can make $138billion and pay nothing in tax,’ Australia Institute principal adviser Mark Ogge said.
Five of the biggest companies operating in Australia’s energy and gas industry paid no income tax in the past seven years. Pictured is a rig drilling for coal seam gas reserves in Queensland
Despite their enormous turnover, Arrow Energy, APLNG, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Senex each paid no income tax over a seven year period.
Four of the five are foreign owned, so all the profits they made have gone offshore.
They are all members of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), which claimed the report misrepresented the companies’ contribution through direct payments like royalties andrents.
The Australia Institute’s research found that in 2012, APPEA claimed Queensland coal seam gas LNG companies would have to pay $11.2billion in federal income tax by 2020.
As it turned out, they paid almost no income tax in that period.
In 2015, Chevron estimated it would pay $4billion in ‘direct taxations and royalties’ by 2020, but it paid no income tax or resource tax in that time.
Shell claimed in 2013 that its Prelude floating LNG project would pay $12billion in taxes over the life of the project.
It has paid no income tax since 2015.
Santos, which is an Australian company, paid no income tax from 2015 to 2018, nor in 2020.
Australian Tax Office data shows five companies that had a combined income from their Australian operations of $138billion paid no income tax over a seven year period. Pictured is a liquefied natural gas facility at Curtis Island in north Queensland
The Australia Institute said the taxation of the oil and gas industry in Australia needs to be overhauled.
‘Our governments should not be letting this happen and we need an overhaul of how the oil and gas industry is taxed in Australia,’ Mr Ogge said.
He said the companies promised billions in tax revenue and then failed to pay it.
‘We trust our politicians to tax our natural resources to the benefit of all Australians, but instead some of the largest gas miners, members of APPEA, are paying absolutely nothing,’ he said.
The Australia Institute said the taxation of the oil and gas industry in Australia needs to be overhauled. Pictured is the Longford Gas Conditioning Plant in Victoria
‘The federal government is virtually giving the resource away for free, gift wrapped in subsidies, mostly to foreign-owned companies, many of whom pay little, if any, tax.
Mr Ogge made a comparison with selling a house. ‘Imagine if you trusted an agent to sell your house to get the best deal possible, but instead they gave it to their mate for next to nothing.
‘This is what is happening with our gas resources,’ he said.
APPEA acting chief executive Damian Dwyer said the report does not reflect how the tax system works.
‘The companies that this anti-gas group is referring to deliver more than $5 billion in direct payments to governments every year – that’s more than $150 billion since the late 1980s,’ he said.
‘Looking at rents and taxes as a measure of economic contribution is far too a narrow lens – it totally ignores our overall contribution through employment, supporting other industries and facilitating regional growth – which was measured….at almost $500 billion a year.’