10/12/2021 - 15:34

WA's top taxpayers paid $18.8bn

10/12/2021 - 15:34

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A dozen WA-linked businesses paid more than a fifth of Australia’s corporate tax take between them in the 2020 financial year, with Rio Tinto the nation’s top contributor.

WA's top taxpayers paid $18.8bn
The parent Rio Tinto entity paid $5.2 billion of corporate tax in the year to June 2020 Photo: Attila Csaszar

A dozen Western Australia-linked businesses paid more than a fifth of Australia’s corporate tax take between them in the 2020 financial year, with Rio Tinto the nation’s top contributor.

The parent Rio Tinto entity paid $5.2 billion of corporate tax in the year to June 2020, the latest tax transparency data from the Australian Taxation Office shows.

That could be a big boost for the mining giant, which has suffered social licence issues after the Juukan Gorge saga.

In the year to June 2020, $84.8 billion in corporate tax was paid nationally, according to federal budget data.

The top 12 entities with major WA operations or headquartered in the state paid $18.8 billion between them, and all were in the top 20 national taxpayers.

The numbers mean more than a fifth of all of Australia's company tax receipts were collected from just those 12 WA-linked businesses.

BHP Group contributed $4.6 billion to the nation’s coffers in a year that included the outbreak of a pandemic and national lockdowns, while Fortescue Metals Group chipped in $2.9 billion.

BHP’s Jimblebar business reported separately, with more than $1.2 billion, while Robe River, partly owned by Rio Tinto, paid $480 million.

Wesfarmers paid $896 million, Roy Hill Holdings $643 million, and Hancock Prospecting $653 million.

About a third of entities paid no tax in the 2020 financial year, the ATO said.

“There are many reasons why companies pay no income tax,” it said. 

“Income tax is paid on profits not revenue and legitimate business or economic factors may see companies pay no income tax due to operating losses, utilising losses from prior years, or projects operating in a start-up phase.

“Many single entities that did not pay tax are members of a tax paying corporate group. At the economic group level, a total of 2,061 economic groups or standalone entities were to some degree in scope for the transparency report. 

“Of these, 78 per cent had a tax liability through one or more member entities.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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