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Tax transparency

Our tax strategy is designed to support Powering Progress through our commitment to transparency, compliance and open dialogue with our stakeholders, from governments to civil society. Our strategy and actions reflect our values and principles.

Tax revenues enable governments to pay for public services, such as education, health care and transport. In 2023, our taxes paid and collected amounted to $67 billion: we paid $14 billion in corporate income taxes and $6 billion in government royalties, and collected $47 billion in excise duties, sales taxes and similar levies on our fuel and other products on behalf of governments [A].

[A] Non-GAAP financial measure. See Reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures where non-GAAP reconciliation is provided..

We also made other payments to governments, including $11 billion in production entitlements, $2 billion in fees and $47 million in bonuses. Such payments to governments are derived from our Report on Payments to Governments for the year 2023. This report is prepared in accordance with the UK’s Reports on Payments to Governments Regulations 2014 (amended December 2015).

Shell publishes a Tax Contribution Report annually which sets out the corporate income tax that Shell companies paid in the 97 countries and locations where we have a taxable presence. Our latest Tax Contribution Report includes a breakdown of our total tax contribution in 48 countries where we have key business activities, an increase from 21 in the previous year.

We regularly engage with policymakers to support the development of tax rules and regulations based on sound tax policy principles. In this way, we hope to contribute to the development of fair, effective and stable tax systems. We also provide constructive input to industry groups and international organisations, such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, The B Team Responsible Tax Working Group and the international business network Business at OECD.

In 2023, we published a set of principles which we believe governments should follow when shaping their fiscal policies to advance the energy transition. These include encouraging investment in low-carbon energy, while maintaining energy security and meeting the economic and social needs of their countries and communities.

Read our latest Tax Contribution Report and Payments to Governments report.

Payments for bonuses usually paid upon signing an agreement or a contract, or when a commercial discovery is declared, or production has commenced or production has reached a milestone.
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Corporate income tax
This is a direct tax imposed on companies’ profits. It is sometimes levied at a national level but can also be levied on a state or local basis.
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Excise duties
This is a tax on manufacturers and is due at the point of production rather than sale. Companies which manufacture products that are subject to excise duties are responsible for reporting and paying these taxes. Excise taxes are in addition to other forms of indirect tax, such as customs duties, VAT or GST, and typically form part of the cost of the product.
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Fees and other sums paid as consideration for acquiring a licence for gaining access to an area where extractive activities are performed. Administrative government fees that are not specifically related to the extractive sector, or to access to extractive resources, are excluded. Also excluded are payments made in return for services provided by a government.
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generally accepted accounting principles
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Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
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Production entitlement
This is the host government’s share of production. It includes the government’s share as a sovereign entity or through its participation as an equity or interest holder in projects within its home country.
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Royalties are generally payment due for the use of an asset. Mineral royalties are payments to governments or other owners for the rights to extract oil and gas resources, typically at a set percentage of revenue less any deductions that may be taken. See also Trademark royalties.
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