Gas companies could get concessions to help pay for oil spills under tax royalty system

Eryk Bagshaw
13 March 2017

Massive gas companies building projects in Australia could claim the costs of cleaning up environmental disasters as a tax break, a Senate inquiry has heard.

The hearing was told that companies could get tax concessions for oil spills through the costs incurred by cleaning up the coastline or getting salvage equipment shipped from overseas. 

Australian Taxation Office deputy commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn said oil spills caused during mining would come under "exploration expenditure" through the PRRT regime. 

"Where you have an unsuccessful exploration, that excess exploration expenditure can be transferred to another project," he said. "By being transferred to another project it can shelter tax that would otherwise have been paid." 

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