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Shell Sued by Australian Tax Office Over Browse Stake

Matthew Burgess and Franz Wild: Bloomberg: August 25, 2019

(Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc has been sued by Australia’s tax authority as the agency pursues multinational companies over tax avoidance, the Guardian reported.

The Australian Taxation Office has been battling with Shell’s local subsidiary for six years regarding the tax treatment of its stake in the Browse gas project off the country’s northwest coast, the newspaper reported, citing court documents. The bill, estimated at A$755 million ($510 million), relates to a dispute over A$2.2 billion in tax deductions for the project, the newspaper said.

“We are engaging with the Australian Taxation Office with a view to confirming the correct tax outcome of Shell’s 2012 acquisition of interests in the Browse project,” a Shell spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Shell complies with all its legal and taxation obligations and is committed to paying the right amount of tax under the letter and the spirit of the law in all countries in which we operate.”

The tax office didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment outside office hours.

Cracking down on multinational tax evasion has been a top priority for the Australian government. BHP Group in November reached a A$529 million settlement with the tax office over a transfer pricing dispute relating to its Singapore marketing operations from as far back as 2003.

Read More: Australian Anti-Tax Avoidance Task Force Collects Nearly $2B

To contact the reporters on this story: Matthew Burgess in Melbourne at [email protected];Franz Wild in London at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at [email protected], Stanley James

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