How big fossil fuel companies avoid taxes

For all the environmental and climate destruction wrought by the fossil fuel industry here in Australia, you’d think there must be a significant payback through taxes, right?

Well, sadly, there are ways for massive fossil fuel companies to minimise their tax bills in Australia, and these companies are adept at taking advantage of tax avoidance methods.

Just check out the table below, which shows 81 fossil fuel companies, with a combined revenue of $109 billion in Australia in 2015/16, that are paying less than their fair share! In fact, in most cases, company tax paid is zero.

What makes this even harder to swallow is the whopping salaries these companies’ CEOs take home, while destroying our environment and contributing nothing to the Australian public purse.

All data sourced from the ATO.

CompanySector2015-16
Revenue $m
2015-16
Taxable income $m
2015-16
Tax payable $m
2014-15
Revenue $m
2014-15
Taxable income $m
2014-15
Tax payable $m
2013-14
Revenue $m
2013-14
Taxable income $m
2013-14
Tax payable $m
GLENCORE INVESTMENT PTY LIMITEDCoal 18,349.03 -- 4,968.76 108.11- 4,611.85 --
VIVA ENERGY AUSTRALIA PTY LTDOil & Gas 16,773.21 -- 6,308.68 -----
ENERGYAUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITEDUtilities 7,755.88 -- 7,302.40 -- 8,843.05 51.80-
EXXONMOBIL AUSTRALIA PTY LTDOil & Gas 6,728.56 -- 8,464.27 -- 9,617.32 --
BG INTERNATIONAL (AUS) PTY LIMITEDOil & Gas 6,252.52 --396.53--121.59--
MITSUBISHI DEVELOPMENT PTY LTDCoal 4,723.90 -- 4,830.24 -- 4,615.25 --
ANGLO AMERICAN AUSTRALIA LIMITEDCoal 3,687.43 155.97- 3,605.36 32.38- 3,541.48 158.41-
SOUTH32 LIMITEDCoal 3,494.11 --312.21-----
PEABODY AUSTRALIA HOLDCO PTY LTDCoal 2,875.36 -- 2,782.83 -- 3,020.43 --
ALINTA HOLDINGSUtilities 2,376.80 -- 1,030.06 --809.75--
PUMA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) HOLDINGS PTY LTDOil & Gas 2,192.74 -- 2,681.65 -- 2,449.38 --
CHEVRON AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTDOil & Gas 2,142.26 -- 3,088.42 -- 3,031.73 --
VICTORIA POWER NETWORKS PTY LTDUtilities 1,669.65 -- 1,439.92 -- 1,432.11 --
WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITEDCoal 1,577.62 -- 1,079.35 -- 1,040.65 --
CONOCOPHILIPS AUSTRALIA GAS HOLDINGS PTY LTDOil & Gas 1,464.32 107.75- 1,708.85 112.94- 1,850.76 82.12-
YANCOAL AUSTRALIA LIMITEDCoal 1,460.27 -- 1,692.87 -- 1,591.81 --
MARUBENI AUSTRALIA LIMITEDOil & Gas 1,298.33 39.53- 1,384.25 -- 2,326.65 48.32-
INTERNATIONAL POWER (AUSTRALIA) HOLDINGS PTY LTDUtilities 1,232.41 -- 1,133.43 -- 1,205.63 --
CLERMONT COAL MINES LTDCoal 1,055.03 --972.33-- 1,065.23 --
CNOOC GAS AND POWER (AUS) INVESTMENT PTY LTDOil & Gas 1,032.73 -----575.94--
ULAN COAL MINES LIMITEDCoal948.200.000.00851.511.210.36567.031.680.50
BANPU AUSTRALIA CO. PTY LTDCoal929.61-- 1,159.80 -- 1,052.84 --
AUSTRALIA PACIFIC LNG PTY LTDOil & Gas911.61--415.27--481.44--
MOBIL PNG GAS HOLDINGS PTY LTDOil & Gas902.320.410.12152.320.130.04---
PARK PTY LTDOil & Gas854.560.990.30724.371.520.46643.950.650.20
AGL GENERATION HOLDCO PTY LTDUtilities733.25--611.69-- 1,150.86 --
QUADRANT ENERGY HOLDINGS PTY LTDOil & Gas710.11--------
WARKWORTH COAL SALES LTDCoal678.361.980.01656.821.90-735.101.86-
AUSDRILL LIMITEDOil & Gas669.37--722.16--751.175.47-
UNITED ENERGY DISTRIBUTION HOLDINGS PTY LTDUtilities666.10--646.51--605.46--
AUSTRALIAN GAS NETWORKS HOLDINGS PTY LIMITEDUtilities615.32--125.51-----
ALINTA POWER CAT PTY LTDUtilities547.020.04- 1,575.19 0.27- 1,698.80 0.45-
GS COAL HOLDINGS PTY LTDCoal482.84--224.27-----
PREMIER COAL HOLDINGS PTY LTDCoal459.14--303.31--290.53--
HVO COAL SALES PTY LTDCoal457.52--------
PTTEP AUSTRALIA PERTH PTY LTDOil & Gas456.03--792.15--171.05--
MIDDLEMOUNT COAL PTY LTDCoal444.68--382.51--345.39--
MILLER POHANG COAL COMPANY PTY LTDCoal405.71--401.70--458.09--
TOKYO GAS AUSTRALIA PTY LTDOil & Gas395.03--355.45--258.91--
NCIG HOLDINGS PTY LIMITEDCoal388.40--357.85--640.80--
DBNGP (WA) TRANSMISSION PTY LTDUtilities383.55--398.04--445.70--
ENERGY RESOURCES OF AUSTRALIAUtilities367.95--414.28--385.43--
BM ALLIANCE COAL OPERATIONS PTY LIMITEDCoal363.19--200.41--511.46--
ENSHAM COAL SALES PTY LTDCoal355.070.100.03375.78--430.500.080.02
ADANI ABBOT POINT TERMINAL HOLDINGS PTY LTDCoal351.48--350.20--268.38--
QCOAL PTY LTDCoal327.91--336.77--293.72--
VIVA ENERGY REFINING PTY LTDOil & Gas306.152.58-------
PERTH ENERGY PTY LTDUtilities301.19--274.58--300.34--
GE POWER HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA PTY LTDUtilities265.06--331.40--458.79--
KUWAIT PETROLEUM AVIATION (AUSTRALIA) PTY LIMITEDOil & Gas252.21--269.70--314.42--
J-POWER AUSTRALIA PTY. LTD.Coal238.443.04-188.95--215.011.69-
WASHINGTON H. SOUL PATTINSON AND COMPANY LIMITEDCoal235.81153.98-367.07177.89-256.07215.73-
ADANI MINERALS PTY LTDCoal232.97--135.930.130.04---
PUMA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) ASSETS HOLDINGS PTY LTDOil & Gas229.56--112.65-----
OZGEN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA PTY LTDUtilities219.21--177.35--175.93--
ARROW ENERGY HOLDINGS PTY LTDOil & Gas207.24--207.57--292.58--
KANSAI ELECTRIC POWER AUSTRALIA PTY LTDOil & Gas205.7230.55-222.8146.00-116.00--
CHINA RAILWAY MATERIALS (AUSTRALIA) PTY LIMITEDCoal196.740.200.06308.280.880.26218.43--
CLICK ENERGY GROUP HOLDINGS PTY LTDUtilities173.79--154.74--126.05--
DRILLSEARCH ENERGY PTY LIMITEDOil & Gas172.5729.14-274.2456.04-388.794.37-
MERIDIAN ENERGY AUSTRALIA PTY LIMITEDUtilities170.94--------
SINOPEC OIL AND GAS AUSTRALIA PTY LTDOil & Gas164.53--------
WONBINDI COAL PTY LIMITEDCoal158.96--------
BOC AIP LIMITED PARTNERSHIP (CONSOLIDATED)Oil & Gas148.20211.590.05310.01442.740.05232.58332.120.06
BLUEWATERS POWER 2 PTY LTDUtilities146.314.05-155.60--196.80--
SPARK INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDINGS NO 2 PTY LIMITEDUtilities145.38--175.70--213.61--
SENEX ENERGY LIMITEDOil & Gas143.42--154.46--220.37--
ADANI MINING PTY LTDCoal139.56--------
TAP OIL LIMITEDOil & Gas135.73--------
AUSTRALIA BUNKERING PTY LIMITEDOil & Gas134.601.880.56180.601.690.51201.991.480.44
AWE LIMITEDOil & Gas125.21--152.07--200.76--
BLUEWATERS POWER 1 PTY LIMITEDUtilities124.81--138.64--194.29--
BLUEWATER (GLAS DOWR) N.VOil & Gas123.10--161.122.250.67145.892.330.70
ENI AUSTRALIA BVOil & Gas121.36--132.19--320.55--
DUET INVESTMENT HOLDINGS LIMITEDUtilities118.57--------
MACQUARIE COAL MARKETING PTY LIMITEDCoal115.230.000.00------
ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS PTY LTDUtilities114.40-----314.48--
QENERGY LIMITEDUtilities111.18--139.48--129.51--
ENGIE SERVICES AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALANDHOLDINGS PTY LTDUtilities108.87--------
VIVA ENERGY HOLDING PTY LTDOil & Gas107.05--------
WORLD FUEL SERVICES (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTDOil & Gas101.650.130.04180.541.460.44107.25--
CompanySector2015-16
Revenue $m
2015-16
Taxable income $m
2015-16
Tax payable $m
WORLD FUEL SERVICES (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTDOil & Gas101.650.130.04
GLENCORE INVESTMENT PTY LIMITEDCoal 18,349.03 --
VIVA ENERGY AUSTRALIA PTY LTDOil & Gas 16,773.21 --
ENERGYAUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITEDUtilities 7,755.88 --
EXXONMOBIL AUSTRALIA PTY LTDOil & Gas 6,728.56 --
BG INTERNATIONAL (AUS) PTY LIMITEDOil & Gas 6,252.52 --
MITSUBISHI DEVELOPMENT PTY LTDCoal 4,723.90 --
ANGLO AMERICAN AUSTRALIA LIMITEDCoal 3,687.43 155.97-
SOUTH32 LIMITEDCoal 3,494.11 --
PEABODY AUSTRALIA HOLDCO PTY LTDCoal 2,875.36 --
ALINTA HOLDINGSUtilities 2,376.80 --
PUMA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) HOLDINGS PTY LTDOil & Gas 2,192.74 --
CHEVRON AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTDOil & Gas 2,142.26 --
VICTORIA POWER NETWORKS PTY LTDUtilities 1,669.65 --
WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITEDCoal 1,577.62 --
CONOCOPHILIPS AUSTRALIA GAS HOLDINGS PTY LTDOil & Gas 1,464.32 107.75-
YANCOAL AUSTRALIA LIMITEDCoal 1,460.27 --
MARUBENI AUSTRALIA LIMITEDOil & Gas 1,298.33 39.53-
INTERNATIONAL POWER (AUSTRALIA) HOLDINGS PTY LTDUtilities 1,232.41 --
CLERMONT COAL MINES LTDCoal 1,055.03 --
CNOOC GAS AND POWER (AUS) INVESTMENT PTY LTDOil & Gas 1,032.73 --
ULAN COAL MINES LIMITEDCoal948.200.000.00
BANPU AUSTRALIA CO. PTY LTDCoal929.61--
AUSTRALIA PACIFIC LNG PTY LTDOil & Gas911.61--
MOBIL PNG GAS HOLDINGS PTY LTDOil & Gas902.320.410.12
PARK PTY LTDOil & Gas854.560.990.30
AGL GENERATION HOLDCO PTY LTDUtilities733.25--
QUADRANT ENERGY HOLDINGS PTY LTDOil & Gas710.11--
WARKWORTH COAL SALES LTDCoal678.361.980.01
AUSDRILL LIMITEDOil & Gas669.37--
UNITED ENERGY DISTRIBUTION HOLDINGS PTY LTDUtilities666.10--
AUSTRALIAN GAS NETWORKS HOLDINGS PTY LIMITEDUtilities615.32--
ALINTA POWER CAT PTY LTDUtilities547.020.04-
GS COAL HOLDINGS PTY LTDCoal482.84--
PREMIER COAL HOLDINGS PTY LTDCoal459.14--
HVO COAL SALES PTY LTDCoal457.52--
PTTEP AUSTRALIA PERTH PTY LTDOil & Gas456.03--
MIDDLEMOUNT COAL PTY LTDCoal444.68--
MILLER POHANG COAL COMPANY PTY LTDCoal405.71--
TOKYO GAS AUSTRALIA PTY LTDOil & Gas395.03--
NCIG HOLDINGS PTY LIMITEDCoal388.40--
DBNGP (WA) TRANSMISSION PTY LTDUtilities383.55--
ENERGY RESOURCES OF AUSTRALIAUtilities367.95--
BM ALLIANCE COAL OPERATIONS PTY LIMITEDCoal363.19--
ENSHAM COAL SALES PTY LTDCoal355.070.100.03
ADANI ABBOT POINT TERMINAL HOLDINGS PTY LTDCoal351.48--
QCOAL PTY LTDCoal327.91--
VIVA ENERGY REFINING PTY LTDOil & Gas306.152.58-
PERTH ENERGY PTY LTDUtilities301.19--
GE POWER HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA PTY LTDUtilities265.06--
KUWAIT PETROLEUM AVIATION (AUSTRALIA) PTY LIMITEDOil & Gas252.21--
J-POWER AUSTRALIA PTY. LTD.Coal238.443.04-
WASHINGTON H. SOUL PATTINSON AND COMPANY LIMITEDCoal235.81153.98-
ADANI MINERALS PTY LTDCoal232.97--
PUMA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) ASSETS HOLDINGS PTY LTDOil & Gas229.56--
OZGEN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA PTY LTDUtilities219.21--
ARROW ENERGY HOLDINGS PTY LTDOil & Gas207.24--
KANSAI ELECTRIC POWER AUSTRALIA PTY LTDOil & Gas205.7230.55-
CHINA RAILWAY MATERIALS (AUSTRALIA) PTY LIMITEDCoal196.740.200.06
CLICK ENERGY GROUP HOLDINGS PTY LTDUtilities173.79--
DRILLSEARCH ENERGY PTY LIMITEDOil & Gas172.5729.14-
MERIDIAN ENERGY AUSTRALIA PTY LIMITEDUtilities170.94--
SINOPEC OIL AND GAS AUSTRALIA PTY LTDOil & Gas164.53--
WONBINDI COAL PTY LIMITEDCoal158.96--
BOC AIP LIMITED PARTNERSHIP (CONSOLIDATED)Oil & Gas148.20211.590.05
BLUEWATERS POWER 2 PTY LTDUtilities146.314.05-
SPARK INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDINGS NO 2 PTY LIMITEDUtilities145.38--
SENEX ENERGY LIMITEDOil & Gas143.42--
ADANI MINING PTY LTDCoal139.56--
TAP OIL LIMITEDOil & Gas135.73--
AUSTRALIA BUNKERING PTY LIMITEDOil & Gas134.601.880.56
AWE LIMITEDOil & Gas125.21--
BLUEWATERS POWER 1 PTY LIMITEDUtilities124.81--
BLUEWATER (GLAS DOWR) N.VOil & Gas123.10--
ENI AUSTRALIA BVOil & Gas121.36--
DUET INVESTMENT HOLDINGS LIMITEDUtilities118.57--
MACQUARIE COAL MARKETING PTY LIMITEDCoal115.230.000.00
ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS PTY LTDUtilities114.40--
QENERGY LIMITEDUtilities111.18--
ENGIE SERVICES AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALANDHOLDINGS PTY LTDUtilities108.87--
VIVA ENERGY HOLDING PTY LTDOil & Gas107.05--
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Avoidance methods

One of the major ways fossil fuel companies minimise or avoid their tax bills is by shifting profits offshore via parent or subsidiary companies.

As tax is paid on profit, rather than revenue, companies can structure themselves so that the bulk of profits are eventually recorded by a subsidiary or parent company that is registered in low- or no-tax nations (tax havens).

To learn more about tax avoidance and take action to stamp it out, head to taxjustice.org.au.

Fossil fuel companies are also able to take advantage of a range of tax breaks that encourage the production or consumption of fossil fuels.

Click here to find out more about the tax-based fossil fuel subsidies that cost us $10 billion each year.

PRRT

The Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) is the major tax system for oil and gas production in Australia. It is paid based on profits, once those profits reach above a set threshold.

With Australia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) set to become one of Australia’s biggest exports in the next few years, analyses have shown the PRRT will fail to collect any new revenue from the sector for decades.

This equates to something of a ‘free ride’ for Australia’s dirty LNG industry, encouraging expansion when we desperately need to shrink the highly emissions intensive industry.

The Australian Government and Senate are currently undertaking inquiries into the PRRT system.

You can learn more and have your say by visiting taxjustice.org.au/prrt