Rio Tinto disputes Australian gov't mining tax claims

19:28, June 01, 2010      

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Mining giant Rio Tinto Ltd has released its own independently audited figures of the level of taxes paid by mining companies in Australia, which vary considerably from the federal government's estimates, Australian Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

Treasury late last month put the average company tax rate on resources companies at between 13 percent and 17 percent in the decade to 2004/05 but Rio Tinto repeated its claim that it pays much more.

"More than 20 billion Australian dollars (17 billion U.S. dollars) was paid in corporate taxes and royalties alone in the past 10 years," Rio Tinto said in a statement.

"Rio Tinto's effective tax rate averaged more than 35 percent.

"About three-quarters of these taxes and royalties have been paid in the past five years, underlining our growing tax contribution."

Rio Tinto chief financial officer Guy Elliott said the data, verified by independent external auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers, would help end much of the uncertainty created by contradictory information that had emerged since the proposed 40 percent tax was announced on May 2.

"These figures demonstrate that Rio Tinto, one of Australia's biggest taxpayers, pays its fair share of taxes," Elliott said.

"It should also be emphasized that the data shows Rio Tinto has effectively invested all of its Australian profits, and more, back into Australia in the past decade."

Source: Xinhua


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