none

GAS GIANT DODGES TAXES

05-12-2017
by 
in 

Energy giant ExxonMobil has not paid any corporate income tax in Australia in at least two years, despite harvesting more than $18 billion from the nation's natural resources, according to three of the company's workplace unions.

Tax campaigners accuse the company of cashing in on Australia's soaring gas prices, but avoiding paying tax on its profits by sending much of its money to a network of offshore companies, some based in notorious tax havens.

In a global environment where the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers have made the phrase "tax avoidance" a dirtier phrase than ever before by highlighting the sheer scale of avoidance companies like Apple and Nike engange in, these accusations are likely to hurt ExxonMobil's prospects. 

The company dismissed the unions' claims as "misinformation" and said it paid state and federal royalties on its Australian operations as well petroleum resource rent tax and corporate tax.

But in Victoria, where ExxonMobil runs the giant Esso Longford gas plant supplying much of the east coast market, the state government wants an investigation, saying Australians expect a fair return from companies profiting from the nation's natural resources.

The Electrical Trades Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union and the Australian Workers Union recruited the Tax Justice Network (TJN) to examine Exxon's tax affairs and say the network has uncovered tax avoidance on a massive scale.

The TJN says Exxon is more aggressive in minimising its tax than Chevron, which agreed to a settlement believed to be worth more than $1 billion this year, after being taken to court by the Australian Taxation Office

Exxon is the latest large corporate player to be revealed using "related party loans" to its overseas entities to minimise or avoid Australian taxes, the unions and the TJN allege.

The network says it has uncovered a bewildering array of least 575 Exxon-linked companies incorporated in the Bahamas, one of the tax havens recently exposed in the Paradise Papers scandal, including at least three with direct links to Australia.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said on Sunday that allegations of tax avoidance needed to be fully investigated.

"Victorians and Australians alike deserve fair compensation for our resources, in particular those that are exported overseas," Mr Pallas said.

"Any allegations of tax avoidance should be fully investigated."

Related news & editorials

  1. 19.07.2018
    19.07.2018
    by      In
    The Australian Made Campaign has named Ben Lazzaro as its new Chief Executive, succeeding Ian Harrison, who steps down at the end of July. The announcement was made following the organisation’s board meeting this week in Melbourne.
    Lazzaro, who has an engineering and communications background, has... Read More
  2. 19.07.2018
    19.07.2018
    by      In
    Siemens Australia and Motorola Solutions have formalised their relationship to develop innovative technologies for Australia’s industrial sector via an exclusive partnership. Motorola Solutions has joined the Siemens’ Solution Partner Programme, becoming only the second company in Australia... Read More
  3. 18.07.2018
    18.07.2018
    by      In
    Australia’s only dedicated trade event for the electronics industry will this year be held in Sydney in September. Electronex – The Electronics Design and Assembly Expo will be staged on 5th and 6th September at Rosehill Gardens Event Centre with free parking for visitors.
    The expo is now in its... Read More
  4. 18.07.2018
    18.07.2018
    by      In
    Australia could lead the world in the re-use and recycling of lithium-ion batteries, according to a new CSIRO report. The report, “Lithium battery recycling in Australia”, says that the current low battery recycling rates can be overcome through better understanding of the importance of recycling,... Read More