Australian mining giant Rio Tinto has gone on the offensive on Monday, releasing their tax statements, as the Australian Government seeks to recoup 447 million ($335.46 million) dollars in what it claims are unpaid taxes.
The bill is based on what the government calls "transfer pricing", which it said has allowed Rio Tinto to transfer profits to Singapore, where they will be taxed at a lower rate.
Currently in Singapore, companies are taxed at 17 percent, as opposed to the 30 percent they are subject to in Australia.
The Australian Government has been cracking down on multinationals in recent years, with the Australian Tax Office currently auditing 59 global corporations, and scores of others, in an attempt to enforce their new legislation regarding tax avoidance.
However, the tax details released by the miner, show that Rio Tinto paid 2.9 billion US dollars on their income for the year ending 2016, and Chris Lynch, chief executive officer of Rio Tinto said in a statement obtained by Xinhua, the decision to release the figures shows the company is committed to tax transparency.
"In 2016, we paid US$4 billion in taxes and royalties to governments, which takes our total direct tax contributions over US$50 billion since 2010."
The mining chief also reiterated his company's firm support for the proposed reduction in company tax by the government, despite the move facing considerable push-back in the senate, and said that if the current 30 percent tax rate is maintained, it will hurt Australia in the long run.
"We support the Australian government's policy to reduce the corporate tax rate. If Australia remains with a 30 percent corporate tax rate, this will come at a cost to investment and jobs, as other nations leave Australia behind," Lynch said.
"For an industry that makes multi-decade investments, with significant up-front capital expenditure, the risk of fiscal instability will influence the global flow of capital and a country's ability to attract and retain investment."
This comes as the price of iron ore has plummeted significantly over the weekend, with the Port of Tianjin spot price plummeting 7.3 percent to around 75 US dollars per metric ton, with further falls expected throughout the year.