Glencore slams Australian report that it paid zero tax in three years – by Henry Lazenby ( – July 3, 2014)

TORONTO ( – Global diversified mining giant and commodity trader Glencore has condemned a recent report by Australian media company Fairfax Media, claiming that through aggressive tax structuring, Glencore had paid zero tax over the past three years, despite earning income of A$15-billion.

Business and technology news website Business Insider had published an internal email to staff by Glencore’s coal CE, Peter Freyberg, in which he dispelled the media speculation surrounding its tax payments, saying that the firm had paid A$400-million in corporate income tax since 2011.

He also said Glencore had paid A$8-billion in royalties and taxes, including A$2-billion related to corporate income tax, in Australia since 2007.

“As you will be acutely aware, for much of this period the resource industries in which we participate have faced significant challenges including low commodity prices, high input costs and a robust Australian dollar.

“Profitability is significantly lower than during the preceding four years – the reality is that a significant proportion of Australia’s coal mines are currently operating at a loss and although we run an efficient business, we are not immune to the market conditions.

“Despite these difficult circumstances, we paid more than $400-million in corporate income tax in respect of this period,” Freyberg said.

The erroneous article cited analysis provided to The Sydney Morning Herald’s publisher Australia-based Fairfax Media of Glencore’s books by an unnamed source “personally concerned at the rampant levels of tax avoidance by multinationals operating in Australia” for its findings.

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