Taxes Paid 2020

Taxes paid report


Taxes & royalties paid


Direct economic contribution


Paid to suppliers globally

2020 figures

Peter Cunningham

Peter Cunningham


An important economic contribution at an important time: As the COVID-19 virus threatened lives and livelihoods around the world, our entire company mobilised to safeguard our employees, contractors and local communities, and to keep our operations running safely and smoothly.


In 2020, the strength and resilience of our business enabled us to protect thousands of jobs across our supply chain – and continue to pay taxes and royalties to governments – when many other companies were forced to cut back. We thank the many governments, customers and partners around the world, whose support helped keep our operations running.

Our total direct economic contribution last year was $47 billion, which included $8.4 billion in taxes and royalties. In Australia, we are one of the largest taxpayers and paid $6.8 billion (A$9.8 billion) in taxes and royalties in 2020. Over the past ten years we have paid over $71 billion in taxes and royalties globally; more than 75%, or $54 billion (A$65 billion), was paid in Australia.

More than a decade ago, Rio Tinto was the first company in the mining industry to disclose our payments to governments in detail, and we have been reporting on our taxes and royalties paid, and our economic contribution, in increasing detail ever since.

Good transparency is about more than the amount of tax we pay. Today, we also disclose our mineral development contracts, beneficial ownership and a range of other commitments. We do so because we believe transparency encourages accountability – ours as well as others’: being transparent about where our payments go helps stakeholders better understand how these funds may be used.

A consistent standard against which companies can report their contributions is essential to engendering trust – in businesses like ours as well as in public institutions. This year we are also reporting the full requirements of the “Tax” standard (GRI 207) of the Global Sustainability Standards Board of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which includes full country-by country reporting. This report coupled with our 2019 Country-by-Country report applies the requirements of GRI 207.

As we focus, in the coming years, on earning back the trust of our stakeholders, we hope this report, alongside our climate change and annual reports, presents a view of the lasting, positive impact our company strives to have, and the changes we are committed to make.

We welcome your feedback.

Working with shared purpose

We know we must work hard to regain the trust of our stakeholders, and today, more than ever, we acknowledge our responsibility to continue to work in a way that delivers real, lasting benefits to our host communities and countries. We know we must care for our employees, respect and safeguard the environment when we explore, build and operate and repurpose or rehabilitate the land when our operations come to an end. We must also contribute to local and national economies by paying competitive wages, treating our suppliers fairly, investing in our local communities and paying our share of taxes.

1. Numbers have been restated from those originally published to ensure comparability over time
2. Includes contribution from net gains on disposal of interests in businesses
3. Payables to governments includes charges for corporate income tax, government royalties, employer payroll taxes and other tax charges