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Total tax contribution

In the table below, we present our total tax contribution for 2021 in 21 jurisdictions. This builds on the information we disclosed for five countries in our 2020 Tax Contribution Report. We are able to provide the total tax contribution for these jurisdictions because their employment tax data is on the same Shell payroll system. We hope to expand this disclosure to include our other tax jurisdictions in the future.

Our total tax contribution for 2021 in these 21 jurisdictions was $58.8 billion. The figure includes $17.5 billion in tax borne by Shell and $41.3 billion in taxes collected by Shell in relation to its economic and employment activities. This data has been compiled from other published Shell sources and our financial reporting systems. Where centrally held data is unavailable, we have gathered figures from in-country tax teams and Human Resources.

Total tax contribution


Taxes borne are taxes that are a cost to Shell and comprise:

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    Corporate income taxes

    These numbers correspond to the “corporate income taxes paid” figures presented in “Our tax data” and are in line with our country-by-country reports.

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    Employer taxes

    These numbers represent employment-related taxes borne by Shell in respect of its role as an employer and include employer social security contributions and similar payments. They also include employer taxes borne by Shell’s joint-venture partners where Shell is responsible for managing the payroll of the joint venture.

  • Other payments to governments

    These numbers correspond to upstream-related payments included in our 2021 Payments to Governments Report, comprising royalties, production entitlements, bonuses, and fees.

Taxes collected are taxes that Shell does not directly incur but instead collects from its customers and employees on behalf of governments. These comprise:

  • Indirect taxes

    These numbers represent gross indirect taxes such as value-added tax (VAT), goods and services tax (GST) and duties arising on the products we sell. Indirect taxes on our purchases of goods and services, which may be borne by Shell or be available to offset and reduce the taxes paid directly by Shell to governments, are not included.

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    Employee taxes

    These include employee income taxes, employee social security contributions and similar payments. They also include taxes collected in joint ventures where Shell is responsible for managing the payroll of the joint venture.

Data relating to certain taxes borne and collected by Shell are not included in this report. For example, we have not included property taxes, insurance premium taxes, customs duties, and withholding taxes collected on dividends paid to shareholders. We aim to expand our total tax contribution data in the future.

Shell globally contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes each year. Property tax is typically levied by local authorities based on an appraised value of property. For Shell, property tax is generally levied on commercial and industrial properties that the company owns, such as refineries, chemicals parks, ports, terminals, and retail facilities. Property taxes are often the largest source of annual revenues for local governments.

Customs duties
A tax imposed on goods as they either leave or enter a country. Customs duties are also in addition to other indirect taxes such as excise, VAT or GST. It is therefore possible to have goods which are subject to excise duties, customs duties and VAT.
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Tax borne
Tax that represents a cost to Shell and impacts upon its financial results. This includes Tax Paid (see Introduction to country-by-country reporting) as well as non-corporate taxes, such as employer social security contributions.
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Withholding taxes
A withholding tax is an income tax to be paid to the government by the payer of the income rather than by the recipient of the income. The tax is thus withheld or deducted from the income due to the recipient. Withholding taxes usually apply to royalties, interest or dividends.
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