Australia: Govt. launches inquiry into corporate tax avoidance in oil industry
Author: Heath Aston, Illawarra Mercury (Australia), Published on: 1 December 2016
"Government launches inquiry into missing tax billions from oil and gas sector", 30 Nov 2016
The Turnbull government has acknowledged for the first time that Australia is failing to secure a fair share of revenue from oil and gas companies, with Treasurer Scott Morrison calling a review into the tax scheme governing offshore projects...This week's Auditor-General report into one offshore project in the $200 billion industry, the North West Shelf, found a $5 billion bonanza in tax deductions taken by the companies behind the project, including Woodside, Chevron, BP, Shell and BHP Billiton, which have reduced their royalty bills. Fairfax Media has revealed concerns around the wider industry which has built up a $187 billion mountain of tax credits that will insulate the largest projects...The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, representing the industry, said the review was timely because it would expose a "dramatic collapse in profits" behind falling tax revenue...The Tax Justice Network welcomed the inquiry..."The Government needs to make sure that the Australian community is getting the best return on our non-renewable resources for the benefit of funding our hospitals, care of the elderly and people with disabilities, our schools and our universities," said TJN spokesman Mark Zirnsak...