Tax contribution of the oil and gas industry in Australia

Tax contribution of Australian oil and gas industry

At the recent Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) Oil & Gas Conference, we presented on the tax contribution of the oil and gas industry in Australia. 


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As highlighted in an APPEA survey:

  • in the 2012-13 income year the Australian oil and gas industry contributed $8.8 billion in taxes
  • the effective tax rate levied on major Australian oil and gas companies has averaged almost half (48 percent) of the industry’s pre-tax profits – significantly higher than the corporate tax rate (30 percent).

KPMG has conducted modelling on the taxation of the oil and gas companies in Australia compared with other 'oil rich' nations, which indicates that:

  • the three levels of direct taxation of oil and gas companies in Australia (corporate tax at 30 percent, state resource royalties at 10–12.5 percent and Petroleum Resources Rental Tax (PRRT) at 40 percent) is uncommon internationally, adding to complexity and diffused tax policy impacts
  • per unit taxation of oil and gas is high compared with other 'oil rich' nations, and tax depreciation write-off periods in Australia are higher comparatively.

Australia is a high tax cost investment destination and our current tax system risks falling behind those of our international competitors. The Taxation White Paper, expected in 2017 and prior to the next election, will set out the Government’s priorities on tax policy.

The impacts to Australia’s tax system from the White Paper process will largely be shaped by the question of whether the Federal Government (collectively with the Labor Party and the States) will agree to place goods and services tax (GST) on the tax reform agenda. Only then will we be able to make our tax regime more competitive.

In terms of tax transparency, the oil and gas industry is keeping stakeholders informed of its contribution to the community. However, it is expected from November or December 2015 the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will publish raw tax data of large corporates which will add media and public scrutiny. Proactive preparation is now fundamental if you want the market to have an accurate analysis of your organisation’s position.

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