Chevron loses ATO case

An aerial view of the Chevorn-operated Gorgon Project.

An aerial view of the Chevorn-operated Gorgon Project.

Chevron will have to pay over $A250 million in back taxes and an estimated $A60 million in fines after having lost a Federal Court case brought by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The ATO accused Chevron of using an in-house loan to an Australian subsidiary worth around $A2.7 billion to raise up to $A862 million in tax-free dividends over five years, utilising a higher interest rate on the loan which was not subject to tax in either Australia or the United States.

A Chevron spokesperson told Gas Today that Chevron Australia is reviewing the decision and does not intend to comment further while appeals are being considered.

“Chevron abides by a stringent code of business ethics, under which we comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries in which we operate,” the spokesperson said.

The loans in question took place between the 2003–04 and 2007–08 financial years.

Chevron had argued that the ATO’s claims are invalid, with no profit shifting having taken place.

International Transport Workers’ Federation President Paddy Crumlin said “With LNG exports expected to triple in the next few years it is critical that tax authorities and governments take a very close look at how Chevron structures its’ tax arrangements”.

Chevron holds significant natural gas resources in Australia, while operating the Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG projects, located in Western Australia.

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