News

You paid more tax than four major Gladstone companies

FOUR major Gladstone companies did not pay any income tax in the 2013-2014 financial year; and others that did, paid a smaller percentage of their income than the average worker.

Queensland Alumina Limited, Boyne Smelters, BG-Group operating as QGC, and APLNG are all on the Australian Taxation Office's list, released yesterday, of almost 600 companies that didn't pay tax that year.

The tax office says no tax paid doesn't necessarily mean these companies have engaged in tax avoidance.

Rio Tinto, for example, picks up most of the bill for Queensland Alumina Limited and it paid 9% in tax on its $33.5 billion income, $3 billion, and the same goes for Boyne Smelters.

For QGC income tax payments were minimal because the company spent more money - $8.3 billion building the gas plant on Curtis Island - than it made in profits.

It's a similar story for APLNG which expects to pay more taxes once the plant is up and running.

However the 9% paid by Rio Tinto is significantly less than the 19% being paid by individual Gladstone workers who earn an average of $35,828 per year, according to figures from the State Government.

Sotherton's accountant Steve Marsten says it's all to do with risk.

"These large companies often have to invest in a lot more capital intensive areas so there's a much higher risk and as a result of that investment they do get some tax benefits," Mr Marsten said, "whereas an employee's income is considered low risk and therefore they pay more tax".

Construction giant Bechtel paid more tax than the average worker.

It earned $8.13 billion in 2013-2014, but paid 30% or $331 million in income tax.

Mr Marsten says that's because Bechtel doesn't invest as much in big infrastructure as its clients QGC, APLNG and GLNG.

"Bechtel's investment is more in people; so once again it's lower risk and therefore they pay more tax," he said.

The full list released by the tax office detailed taxes for 1500 companies which earned more than $100 million, including the 580 that didn't pay income tax. Collectively the 1500 companies paid almost $40 billion in taxes.

The Commissioner of Taxation, Chris Jordan, says it released the list as a "transparency measure" to increase community trust in the way large companies operate.

"Publishing this data is a step forward in improving corporate tax transparency," Mr Jordan said.

"Large corporates now have to consider the impact of their tax information as a factor in managing their reputation with the markets, their shareholders, their consumers and in the Australian community."

Follow this reporter on Twitter @helenspelitis

Topics:  editors picks, finances, tax




Top 11 spots to buy cheap fuel in Gladstone

Gladstone's average fuel price has dropped to its lowest in seven years.

It's time to fill up your tank

Researchers baffled to why Lady Elliott manta is pink: Watch

UNIQUE: Clouseau, the pink under-bellied manta ray, has been spotted twice at Lady Elliott Island.

A unique creature is offshore Lady Elliott Island

The beauty trend quickly taking over Gladstone faces

Cosmetic tattooing has been around for years, and was at its peak popularity 20 years ago, according to tattooist and beauty therapist Georgi.

AND more experts in the field are moving to Gladstone

Latest deals and offers

Johnny Depp 'deeply respects' Amber Heard

Celebrity

Amber Heard gives away $7 million settlement to charity

The true cost of 60 Minutes debacle revealed

It's a bill that would make even a silk tied barrister blush

Aussie rapper in town for first ever Gladstone show

HE'S BACK: Drapht returns to the stage with his first Gladstone show this Friday.

Catch Drapht for his first Gladstone show this Friday night.

This year 4 schoolboy outscores Aussies at Pokémon champs

He's now a celebrity in the schoolyard.

Kirk Douglas is defiant, fierce and still standing

VETERAN ACTOR: Kirk Douglas has had a long and varied career.

Kirk Douglas has out-lived almost all his contemporaries

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Gladstone landlords in trouble with Bechtel job losses

"If a big project was announced tomorrow I wouldn't want to see it"

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.