Global mining giant Glencore Xstrata has rejected claims it has paid no tax on the $15 billion in income it has earned from coal mining in the last three years.
The Swiss-based company, which is Australia’s largest coal producer, was accused of using a sophisticated profit shifting system that might have breached tax laws in reports by Fairfax newspapers.
The reports say the miner reduced its tax bill by taking $3.4 billion in expensive loans from overseas associates at double what it would have paid banks.
It then claimed tax breaks on the interest payments and lent to related parties interest free.
It also lifted coal sales to related companies indicating profit-shifting, the reports said.
The source of the analysis was a former multinational executive, said Fairfax.
Glencore has rejected the claim that it didn’t pay any income tax in Australia.
The company had paid more than $8 billion in royalties and taxes in Australia in the last seven years, it said.
It did not give a tax contribution for the last three years.
“Glencore complies with all tax rules and regulations in Australia and in each jurisdiction where we operate,” the company said.
“The amount of tax our company pays is driven by the taxation legislation put in place by local, state and federal governments and is a matter of public policy.
“The measure of our economic contribution to Australia is not just about taxes or royalties (which we pay on every tonne of coal we sell).
“Our contribution is measured over decades with investments that serve communities for a generation through job creation and support for local businesses.”