Royal Dutch Shell has revealed that it paid no corporate income tax in the UK in 2018 despite raking in $731m (£557m) of pre-tax profit on revenues of $108bn in the country.
The new report, published on Tuesday, is the first time the oil and gas titan has released public details of the corporate income tax paid in countries and locations across all its businesses.
How bitter will Snippa be about the fact that we now get to see the tax payments and why? For one of the joys here is why unitary taxation simply won’t work. Shell’s UK payment is low because it closed down fields. The UK already had the tax on the profits from those fields and the costs of closing them down – which is a cost of running the fields and thus should come off revenues before profits are calculated – attract tax repayments. So, on unitary taxation other countries would have had higher apportionments because of the way that the UK taxes oil fields. And lower now. Which isn’t how a just international taxation system should work now, is it?