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Shell publishes detailed report of tax payments

On 17 December 2019, Shell published a new tax report, which breaks down the company's tax payments on a country-by-country basis. Shell is now the first multinational corporation to disclose its global tax payments in such detail. Oxfam commended this step towards transparency, arguing that this report demonstrates that thorough disclosures by multinational companies are possible, and do not affect competitiveness or entail excessive administrative costs.

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8 January 2020

UK: Shell paid no UK corporate income tax in 2018

Author: Anjli Raval and Javier Espinoza, Financial Times

"Shell reveals it paid no UK corporate income tax in 2018", 17 December 2019

Royal Dutch Shell paid no corporate income tax in the UK in 2018 despite the oil and gas group generating pre-tax profits of nearly $731m, after receiving tax refunds related to the decommissioning of North Sea oil platforms.

The figures, published in a report by the Anglo-Dutch company showing a global breakdown of payments, come after it said it would voluntarily disclose how much tax it pays in each country as part of a broader transparency drive...

...Stuart McWilliam, campaign manager at Global Witness, said: "The fact that Shell and other major oil companies are regularly getting huge tax rebates, despite making vast profits, is a feature that is now baked into the UK oil and gas tax system."

To help offset the expenses of plugging and abandoning wells and removing equipment, energy companies are able to claim tax relief, deducting costs from their profits or claiming back duties they had previously paid...

..."Shell is committed to compliance. Specifically, we seek to comply with the applicable tax laws in all the countries and locations in which we have a taxable presence," said Jessica Uhl, Shell's chief financial officer...

...Shell's tax arrangements have been under scrutiny in the Netherlands in recent years after the company relocated its headquarters from London to The Hague, with critics accusing the company of dodging taxes via offshore trusts. Shell confirmed in its new report that it did not pay Dutch corporate taxes apart from at its gas joint venture with ExxonMobil.


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20 December 2019

Shell publishes new Tax Contribution Report

Author: Shell

17 December 2019.

“Transparency is important for Shell - showing who we are and what we do is one of the best ways we can demonstrate the many contributions we make to society,” said Jessica Uhl, Shell Chief Financial Officer...The Tax Contribution Report provides information about the corporate income tax Shell paid in countries and locations in which we have a taxable presence across all our businesses.

In 2018, Shell companies paid $10.1 billion in corporate income tax and $5.8 billion in royalties around the world. On behalf of governments, we also collected some $48.2 billion in excise duties, sales taxes and similar levies on our fuel and other products...

In 2018, we endorsed a set of responsible tax principles developed by the B Team, a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to help companies establish responsible business practices. The Tax Contribution Report is part of Shell’s commitment to these principles and includes country-by-country report data...

To read the Tax Contribution Report, go to www.shell.com/taxcontributionreport

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20 December 2019

Shell takes major step towards tax transparency, combating oil sector secrecy

Author: Oxfam

18 December 2019.

...In a new report released yesterday, Shell went beyond its legal requirements for financial reporting and payments-to-governments reporting by mining, oil, and gas companies by including country-by-country profit, employment, and tax data covering all its business segments, accompanied by explanatory text. This sort of public country-by-country reporting and the additional narrative information are critical for investors, civil society, and the general public to assess whether a company is paying a fair amount of tax. "Under pressure from civil society groups and investors who have questioned whether Shell pays a fair share of taxes in the countries in which it operates, Shell has responded by providing more transparency,” said Daniel Mulé, Oxfam America’s senior policy advisor for tax and the extractive industries...

The disclosures in Shell’s report are in line with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) template that companies are already using to report this information to governments. Shell is now the first multinational corporation to disclose this country-by-country reporting...“While some companies argue that publishing profits, employment, and taxes on a country-by-country basis is too difficult, Shell has now proved them wrong,” said Niko Lusiani, Oxfam America’s senior advisor for corporate advocacy...“This report demonstrates that this sort of reporting is possible, even for a large multinational company with a variety of different types of operations in a range of different countries and regions, does not present a competitiveness risk for companies, nor does it entail exorbitant and prohibitive administrative costs...

“Companies preparing to comply with the Global Reporting Initiative’s new Standard for reporting on tax will find Shell’s new report a helpful practical reference for how country-by-country reporting can be done,” said Lusiani..."But transparency alone is insufficient. Shell and other companies must also take action to ensure their tax practices are responsible and contribute substantially to the tax base of the countries in which they operate.”...“The SEC should take note of the fact that Shell published the tax it paid in countries around the world in 2018,” said Mulé...

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