A successful Australian mining sector means a stronger Australian economy.
A competitive tax system is critical for investment in capital-intensive industries such as mining. Mining projects involve high-risk exploration outlays, large upfront capital commitments, long-life assets, sophisticated technologies and long lead times to profitability.
The mining industry is highly competitive, with other resource-rich economies trying to capture future opportunities in resource development.
A combination of state and territory royalties and a high rate of federal company tax means Australia is a relatively high tax jurisdiction for mining. Australian businesses need a lower corporate tax rate to increase investment, jobs and wages.
Stable fuel tax arrangements are also vital to mining’s competitiveness.
Fuel tax credits are critical to a diverse range of regional industries reliant on diesel, including mining, agriculture and tourism. Fuel tax credits are not a subsidy for fuel use, but a mechanism to reduce or remove the incidence of excise or duty levied on the fuel used by business off road or in heavy on-road vehicles.
Any move to reduce fuel tax credits would introduce a tax distortion by imposing a tax on industries that are reliant on diesel fuel to generate power and operate heavy machinery and create financial hardship for some of Australia’s most remote communities.
Australia also needs competitive and stable exploration and R&D tax arrangements. Exploration is critical to secure a future pipeline of mining investment.
Government policy should support Australia’s attractiveness as an exploration destination, and immediate deductibility for exploration expenditure is a long-standing and critical feature of the income tax system to encourage mineral exploration in recognition of the spill-over benefits to the economy. Australia’s minerals industry paid record taxes and royalties to federal, state and territory governments in 2019-20 even as the COVID-19 pandemic started to adversely impact on the economy.
Research by Deloitte Access Economics reveals that Australian mining companies paid a record $24.1 billion in company tax in 2019-20.
Mining companies also paid $15.2 billion in royalties in 2019-20, providing total revenue to Commonwealth and State Governments of $39.3 billion.
The increase in royalties follows a significant investment in new production over recent years, which is delivering a strong dividend to the states from royalties which are based on production.
MCA members are committed to enhancing transparency of their activities and relationships with governments and host communities as part of the industry’s commitment to contribute positively to long-term social and economic development.
The MCA supports meaningful and globally consistent tax transparency that minimises compliance burdens.
The mining industry has a demonstrated commitment to this principle. A number of mining companies operating globally are subject to multiple tax transparency regimes. In Australia, these include the Voluntary Tax Transparency Code and the implementation of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, both of which the MCA supports.