American energy heavyweight ExxonMobil has been named Australia’s ‘worst tax dodger’ by Tax Justice Network Australia.
Its report shows earnings of $24.7bn were made in the country over the past three years, and that the Australian treasury took zero tax revenues from this.
Author of the report Jason Ward said: “What this research shows is that ExxonMobil has exploited Australia’s natural resources, made a ton of money and siphoned it all off overseas. By using notorious tax havens, high-interest internal loans and related party transactions they’ve sucked the taxpayer dry.”
Ward claims that ExxonMobil has $54bn resting in offshore bank accounts, with much of this channelled away from Australia via the company’s Dutch arm, and from there into its subsidiary in the Bahamas.
The Senate Economics Committee this week extended its inquiry into corporate tax avoidance. Exxon executives are expected to make a lengthy appearance early next year in front of the inquiry in light of these findings.
Exxon claims it hasn’t had any taxable Australian income as it has invested this money into Australian projects. These include Gorgon and the Kipper Tuna Turrum field.
Other energy companies including Chevron are also accused of moving incomes offshore, along with mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto.