Investors Ask Chevron to Issue Tax Transparency Report


A group of Chevron Corp. investors has asked the United States oil giant to make available to shareholders a detailed report of its tax payments, warning of risks of vulnerability to tax law enforcement and public distrust.

“Chevron does not disclose revenues or profits in each non-US market where it operates, nor the corresponding foreign tax payments, challenging investors’ ability to evaluate the risks of taxation reforms, or to assess whether Chevron’s tax practices are consistent with long-term value creation”, said a resolution by Oxfam America, Nordea Asset Management, the Benedictine Sisters and KLP.

The resolution asked shareholders to vote for the co-filers’ call for Chevron to issue a “tax transparency report” at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders on May 29.

The co-filers wanted Chevron to follow suit after its oil and gas peers in aligning tax practices with the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) standard. Released 2019, the multi-stakeholder standard provides guidelines for country-by-country public disclosures of business activities, profits and tax payments.

“At an asset level, risks may include: heightened attention of tax authorities and adjustment risk following tax authorities investigating whether a company’s tax planning complies with the law; vulnerability to changes in tax regulation and enforcement; reputational damage and loss of social license to operate”, stated the resolution, disclosed by Chevron in a regulatory filing.

“At a portfolio level, aggressive tax avoidance by one company may undermine fair competition between all companies in a sector”, the resolution added.

“Widespread tax avoidance may also have larger macro-economic impacts by reducing money available for government spending on critical services and infrastructure, which enable long-term business and social sustainability”.

A study published 2021 by the Tax Justice Network attributed $312 billion of annual tax losses to cross-border abuse by multinational corporations.

“In the case of Chevron, tax authorities across the globe have repeatedly challenged the company’s approach to taxation, producing significant expenses for the company, including increased tax liabilities and legal expenditures”, the resolution said. “According to the company’s own annual report, Chevron has paid out settlements with tax authorities every year since at least 2007, including a payment of $429 million in 2020 and $1.17 billion in 2017”.

The co-filers cited Chevron’s tax-related court cases in Australia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Nigeria and the Philippines.

Risk of Deeper Scrutiny

They warned Chevron’s tax practices could face greater scrutiny as a result of economic challenges and the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which they said have pushed governments to bolster tax collection efforts.

A Deloitte global poll of multinationals published 2022 showed that 90 percent of respondents (96 percent in the U.S.) expected more tax disputes as governments pursued tax revenues to support pandemic response measures. The study was based on the responses of 163 company tax officials from 21 countries, mostly from the U.S.

“In the US, the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act included an $80 billion funding increase to the Internal Revenue Service, with $46 billion of this earmarked for enforcement”, the co-filers said. “This additional government funding is expected to bring in an additional $204 billion in taxes through 2031, and this will likely come from increased tax enforcement including for large multinational companies like Chevron”.

Chevron, the co-filers warned, could also face greater tax liabilities as governments move to adopt the tax reform framework crafted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in October 2021. The framework sets a 15 percent minimum tax on the profits of multinationals with a certain revenue, applied country by country.

‘Social License’

The co-filers added, “The risk of loss of social license… is particularly salient in the oil, gas, and mining sectors, and it carries significant impact”.

“Upstream extraction in particular comes with elevated expectations of potential benefits from host country governments, citizens, and impacted communities”, they explained.

They rued Chevron’s refusal to satisfy an expectation by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), where it was a member of the board then, for members to disclose project-level payments to governments in all jurisdictions of operation.


“Many leading companies in the oil, gas, and mining sectors publish tax transparency reports aligned with the GRI Tax Standard, including Anglo American, BHP, BP, Eni, Equinor, Hess (prior to its acquisition by Chevron), Newmont, Repsol, Rio Tinto, Shell, South32, Teck Resources, and TotalEnergies”, the co-filers said.

Oxfam had previously filed shareholders resolutions to U.S. majors Chevron, ConocoPhillips Co. and Exxon Mobil Corp. asking the companies to align their tax practices with the GRI.

“This adoption of the GRI standard is by no means limited to foreign companies: Hess and Newmont are both US companies”, the co-filers added. “These companies do not appear to have faced adverse effects from disclosing additional tax data.

“These disclosures provide a decision-useful picture of a company’s tax practices, unlike Chevron’s insufficient current reporting. Publishing a GRI-aligned tax report would help address Chevron’s status as a laggard on transparency issues”.

They noted, “Although Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act will soon require Chevron to publish its payments to governments around the world, this report will not include many of the components of the GRI standard that are necessary to understand a company’s tax practices, such as country-by-country profits and revenues”.


Chevron has not responded to a request for comment sent by Rigzone.

However, in a report explaining its approach to tax transparency, Chevron says, “We currently provide annual confidential country-by-country reports to tax authorities, including the U.S. Internal Revenue Service”.

Chevron says in the report that it submits “project-level data of our payments to governments or their agents in EITI implementing countries where we have upstream operations”. These countries were listed as Angola, Argentina, Cameroon, Colombia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Suriname, the United Kingdom and Myanmar; the EITI on February 29, 2024, kicked coup-hit Myanmar out of the initiative.

Chevron in the report also says it issues publicly available tax reports for Australia and Canada.

In the U.S., “Chevron is preparing to comply with the SEC’s rule implementing Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act”, the report says.

While the report says Chevron provides oversight of its tax activities, it adds that the oversight is performed by the company’s own officials.


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