Offshore drilling, offshore tax: ExxonMobil's efforts 'to reduce liabilities'

Offshore drilling, offshore tax: ExxonMobil's efforts 'to reduce liabilities'
2 min read
01 October, 2016
According to leaked registration documents revealed in the Bahamas Leaks, 67 offshore companies were registered in the Bahamas with the name 'Exxon' between 1991 and 2000.
Exxon had an average US tax rate of 41.5%, according to Oxfam [AFP]
Leaked company registration files from the Bahamas suggest ExxonMobil, one of the world's largest multinational oil and gas corporations, may be using offshore havens to reduce its local tax obligations - a claim the company has denied.
According to files seen by The New Arab, ExxonMobil - which has extensive investments in natural resource exploration across the Middle East and North Africa - set up at least 67 off-shore companies over ten years, often without the necessary information on its directors.

"We know from leaked information that there are a number of multinational companies that are structuring their tax affairs to reduce their tax liabilities in many countries," Oliver Pearce, tax and equality policy manager at UK-based charity Oxfam, told The New Arab.

It was previously thought that ExxonMobil only had 37 offshore companies and it is thought that this is the most comprehensive exposure of any one company's alleged tax avoidance network in recent history.

According to Oxfam, while ExxonMobil paid a total tax rate in the United States of 41.7 percent, it is currently unknown how much tax it pays in other countries.

ExxonMobil responded to a request for comment.

In correspondence with The New Arab, the company said:

"ExxonMobil has affiliates incorporated around the world. Some entities are registered in the Bahamas for simplicity and predictability of the country's laws governing incorporation. It is not done to reduce tax in the country where the company operates.

"ExxonMobil strictly follows all applicable regulations and laws and is current on all tax returns and payments."