New study finds miners pay more tax

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Mining companies are paying slightly more tax than they were three years ago, according to a new industry funded study by Deloitte Access Economics.

The new report counters claims made by the Federal Government earlier this year to justify the minerals resource rent tax.

The Government claimed mining taxes had fallen from one in three dollars of profit in the first half of the decade to just one in seven dollars in recent years, but the new study concluded mining tax rates had risen slightly.

“The tax take has not fallen to the low levels cited in last year’s mining tax debate,” the study said.

The report said total collections from the industry rose from 42.1 per cent in 2008 to 42.2 per cent in 2010.

Last year Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the “simple maths” showed Australians were not getting a fair share of mining profits.

“If we go back sort of 10-odd years, one in three dollars earned by mining companies was paid in tax. Now we’re at one in seven,” she told reporters.

While the Government based its numbers on an estimate of resource profits or rents, Deloitte based its study on measured taxes as a percentage of taxable income as measured by the tax office.

The report said this survey was a more accurate representation of the figures than the approach the Government had used last year.

“The data relied upon in the mining tax debate of 2010 were often inappropriately used,” it said.

“The survey indicates that resource taxes have not been falling as a share of the ATO’s estimate of the taxable profits of the sector for corporate tax purposes.”

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