ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell paid no tax in Australia for 2016

Esso the Australian brand for US oil company and serial tax avoider Exxonmobil

It showed more than one third of large and foreign companies are not paying a cent of company tax.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has listed Foxtel, News Australia and Dentsu Aegis Network as non-payers of local corporate income tax, as part of its 2015-16 corporate tax transparency report, released yesterday.

The big four banks were the nation's biggest taxpayers.

Among the companies that have previously come under scrutiny for the amount of tax they pay locally is Microsoft, which paid $42.3 million in tax from taxable income of $141 million and total income of $776.5 million.

Despite that, BHP paid $1.3 billion on $26.7 billion in income, Rio Tinto paid $1 billion on $27.8 billion in income, Fortescue Metals Group paid $393 million on $8.9 million in income and Hancock Prospecting paid $225 million on $1.9 billion.

Exxon said it had no taxable income as it has invested almost $18 billion during the past few years on major projects including Gorgon and the Kipper Tuna Turrum field.

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The report confirmed a slight increase in the number of firms who managed to avoid troubling the tax man.

Samsung Electronics, by comparison, reported total income of $2.5 billion and a taxable income of $12 million, paying $3.6 million in tax.

A probe by the Senate into corporate tax avoidance that began in 2014 was extended this week and is due to issue a final report by the end of May 2018. Both companies paid the 30 percent tax required in Australia.

Datacom Australia Holdings reported taxable income of $11.4 million off the back of $432 million, and paid just over $2.4 million. "Even companies with very high total income sometimes make losses. there are many legitimate reasons why this might be the case".

Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn said that 2015-16 saw a significant drop in profitability of energy and resources companies, a sector where company profits are highly dependent on commodity prices.

"News Corp Australia pays the right tax".

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