4.3.10Income Tax Expense

The relationship between the Company’s income tax expense and profit before income tax (referred to as ’effective tax rate’) can vary significantly from period to period considering, among other factors: (i) changes in the blend of income that is taxed based on revenues versus profit; (ii) the different statutory tax rates in the location of the Company’s operations and (iii) the possibility to recognize deferred tax assets on tax losses to the extent that suitable future taxable profits will be available.

Some of the taxes are withholding taxes (paid on revenues). The assessment of whether the withholding tax is in scope of IAS 12 is judgmental; the Company performed this assessment in the past and some of the withholding taxes that the Company pays in certain countries qualify as income taxes as it creates an income tax credit or it is considered as deemed profit taxation.

Consequently, income tax expense does not change proportionally with profit before income taxes. Significant decreases in profit before income tax typically lead to a higher effective tax rate, while significant increases in profit before income taxes can lead to a lower effective tax rate, subject to the other factors impacting income tax expense noted above. Additionally, where a deferred tax asset is not recognized on a loss carry forward, the effective tax rate is impacted by the unrecognized tax loss.

The components of the Company’s income taxes were as follows:

Income tax recognized in the consolidated Income Statement




Corporation tax on profits for the year



Adjustments in respect of prior years



Total current income tax



Deferred tax







The Company’s operational activities are subject to taxation at rates, which range up to 35% (2019: 35%).

For the year ended December 31, 2020, the respective tax rates, the change in the blend of income tax based on income withholding tax and deemed profit assessment versus income tax based on net profit, the unrecognized deferred tax asset on certain tax losses, tax-exempt profits and non-deductible costs resulted in an effective tax on continuing operations of 11% (2019: 6.2%).

The reconciliation of the effective tax rate is as follows:

Reconciliation of total income tax charge





Profit/(Loss) before income tax



Share of profit of equity-accounted investees



Profit/(Loss) before income tax and share of profit of equity-accounted investees



Income tax using the domestic corporation tax rate (25% for the Netherlands)





Tax effects of :

Different statutory taxes related to subsidiaries operating in other jurisdictions





Withholding taxes and taxes based on deemed profits





Non-deductible expenses





Non-taxable income





Adjustments related to prior years





Adjustments recognized in the current year in relation to deferred income tax of previous year





Effects of unrecognized and unused current tax losses not recognized as deferred tax assets





Movements in uncertain tax positions





Total tax effects





Total of tax charge on the Consolidated Income Statement





The 2020 effective tax rate of the Company was primarily impacted by additional tax in Canada due to the redelivery of the Deep Panuke platform and the lease and operation contracts in Guyana. Similar to last year, the effective tax was also impacted by unrecognized deferred tax assets concerning Brazil, USA, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco and the Netherlands.

With respect to the annual effective tax rate calculation for the year 2020, the most significant portion of the current income tax expense of the Company was generated in countries in which income taxes are imposed on net profits including United Kingdom, Equatorial Guinea, Guyana and Canada.

Details of the withholding taxes and other taxes are as follows:

Withholding taxes per country



Withholding Tax and Overseas Taxes
(per location)

Withholding tax

Withholding tax













Total withholding and overseas taxes



Tax returns and tax contingencies

The Company files federal and local tax returns in several jurisdictions throughout the world. Tax returns in the major jurisdictions in which the Company operates are generally subject to examination for periods ranging from three to six years. Tax authorities in certain jurisdictions are examining tax returns and in some cases have issued assessments. The Company believes there is a sound basis for its tax positions in those jurisdictions. The Company provides for taxes that it considers probable of being payable as a result of these audits and for which a reasonable estimate may be made. While the Company cannot predict or provide assurance as to the final outcome of these proceedings, the Company does not expect the ultimate liability to have a material effect on its consolidated statement of financial position or results of operations, although it could have a signifcant adverse effect on its consolidated cash flows.

Each year management completes a detailed review of uncertain tax positions across the Company and makes provisions based on the probability of the liability arising. The principal risks that arise for the Company are in respect of permanent establishment, transfer pricing and other similar international tax issues. In common with other international groups, the difference in alignment between the Company’s global operating model and the jurisdictional approach of tax authorities often leads to uncertainty on tax positions.

As a result of the above, in the period, the Company recorded a net tax increase of US$14 million in respect of ongoing tax audits and in respect of the Company’s review of its uncertain tax positions. This amount is primarily in relation to uncertain tax positions concerning various taxes other than corporate income tax. However, it is possible that the ultimate resolution of the tax exposures could result in tax charges that are materially higher or lower than the amount provided.

The Company conducts operations through its various subsidiaries in a number of countries throughout the world. Each country has its own tax regimes with varying nominal rates, deductions and tax attributes. From time to time, the Company may identify changes to previously evaluated tax positions that could result in adjustments to its recorded assets and liabilities. Although the Company is unable to predict the outcome of these changes, it does not expect the effect, if any, resulting from these adjustments to have a material effect on its consolidated statement of financial position, results of operations or cash flows.