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Rio Tinto Paid $7.1 Billion in Taxes in 2014

The taxman came early and often last year for Rio Tinto.The mining behemoth paid an astonishing $7.1 billion in taxes during 2014, and a further $1.8 bi...

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|Mar 18|magazine6 min read

The taxman came early and often last year for Rio Tinto.

The mining behemoth paid an astonishing $7.1 billion in taxes during 2014, and a further $1.8 billion on behalf of its employees, despite lower-than-expected commodity prices.

For the past five years the mining company has provided details of the taxes paid in the jurisdictions in which it operates globally. According to its 2014 voluntary report, the miner paid most of the taxes and royalties in Australia ($5.6 billion), Canada ($432 million), Chile ($262 million), US ($211 million), Mongolia ($185 million), South Africa ($110 million), France ($106 million), Guinea ($67 million), Singapore ($44 million), and UK ($29 million).

“The taxes paid report is important evidence of our commitment to taxation transparency. We were a founding member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and strongly advocate the need to appropriately disclose payments to governments around the world,” said Chris Lynch, chief financial officer.

Under the report, Rio Tinto’s global tax rate during the year was 43 percent. The company has paid on average 42.5 percent since 2010.

“Our group effective corporate income tax rate is reflective of the statutory corporate income tax rates in the countries in which we operate and we pay the vast majority of our group taxes in the countries in which we have mining and processing operations,” said Lynch.

"Through our tax and royalty contribution, investments, employment, local purchasing and contracting, we are a major generator of wealth and economic activity. We are very proud of this record.”

One of the primary focuses in 2014 was to eliminate Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). In the press release, Rio Tinto agreed with these efforts but believes governments must be mindful not to damage the investment environment when implementing BEPS proposals.

“To tackle BEPS issues effectively, we must adopt a coherent global approach and improve cross-border cooperation rather than take unilateral action that adds to compliance costs and dampens trade and investment,” said Lynch. 

Click here to see the full report