Income tax

Australia Institute: Big gas companies pay no income tax in seven years

Five fossil fuel giants making billions of dollars in profits in Australia without paying income tax have been exposed in a new report.

A shocking new report claims that five gas company giants have paid no tax on their Australian operations for seven years.

The Australia Institute published a paper analyzing Australian Taxation Office data from prominent members of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), leading to calls for an overhaul of industry taxation .

The five companies – Arrow Energy, Australia-Pacific LNG, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Senex – generated combined revenue of $138 billion from their Australian operations, four of which are foreign-owned, according to the newspaper.

He also revealed that another company, Santos, only paid $6 million in taxes on $28.9 billion in income and paid no income tax from 2015 to 2018 and in 2020. .

The author of the article, Mark Ogge, senior adviser to the Australia Institute, wants to see changes in the way the oil and gas industry is taxed in Australia.

“It’s amazing that you can make $138 billion tax free. Our governments shouldn’t let this happen and we need an overhaul of how the oil and gas industry is taxed in Australia,” he said.

“The gas companies have promised us billions in revenue and instead we are left with little in our pockets and much more climate impact.”

He also challenged the government on potential conflicts of interest in its relations with gas companies.

“We trust our politicians to tax our natural resources for the benefit of all Australians, but instead some of the biggest gas miners, members of APPEA, are paying absolutely nothing,” Mr Ogge said. .

“Because they are so beholden to the oil and gas industry, they don’t represent our interests, they represent the interests of the oil and gas industry and basically give the gas away for free.

“Much more scrutiny should be given to the close ties between some of our political representatives and the oil and gas companies who profit from their largesse with our money.

“There should be an investigation into the oil and gas industry’s connections, lobbying, revolving door arrangements and political donations to politicians in Australia.”

But APPEA’s acting chief executive, Damian Dwyer, hit back at the report, saying it did not fully reflect business input.

“This report misrepresents our contribution, excludes direct payments such as royalties and rents, and does not reflect how our tax system works,” he said in a statement.

“The companies this anti-gas group is referring to make more than $5 billion in direct payments to governments each year — more than $150 billion since the late 1980s.”

“To consider rents and taxes as a measure of economic contribution is far too narrow a lens – it completely ignores our overall contribution through employment, supporting other industries and facilitating regional growth, which has been measured by the AGIT (Australian Gas Industry Trust) at almost $500. billion per year.