When we invest in a country or location, we seek to build long-term relationships and develop our business sustainably. We recognise our responsibility towards investors, governments, employees and the local communities we are part of. The taxes we collect and pay represent one of the ways in which we embrace this responsibility. Our tax strategy is designed to support Shell in delivering our Powering Progress strategy. It is based on compliance, being transparent about our approach to tax and taxes paid and openness to dialogue with governments, businesses, investors and civil society.


Shell’s approach to tax

  • Shell is committed to tax compliance

    Shell is committed to tax compliance

    • We have a tax presence in 99 countries and locations
    • We file around 43,000 tax returns annually
    • We seek to protect the interests of our investors by managing our tax affairs in a sustainable way
  • Shell is transparent on tax matters

    Shell is transparent on tax matters

    • We publish our global approach to tax and the taxes we pay by country or location
    • We publish payments on our extractive activities by project
    • We seek to provide tax authorities with timely and comprehensive information on potential tax issues
  • Shell is open to dialogue

    Shell is open to dialogue

    • We engage with society on tax matters
    • We promote co-operative compliance relationships
    • We give constructive input to industry groups and international organisations

The Board of Directors of Shell plc approves our tax strategy, regularly reviews its effectiveness and maintains a sound system of risk management and internal control.

The Executive Vice President Taxation and Controller is responsible for tax matters and provides assurance based on our internal tax control framework. The Audit Committee assists the Board in maintaining a sound system of risk management and internal control and oversight over Shell’s financial reporting. A variety of standing matters and more specific topics are discussed by the Audit Committee throughout the year. As part of the year-end reporting process, the Audit Committee advises the Board on the adequacy of the system of risk management and internal control in place.

Responsible tax principles

In 2018, we endorsed the B Team Responsible Tax Principles, which were developed by a group of leading companies, including Shell. Civil society, investors and representatives from international institutions contributed to their development. In 2019, we adopted these principles as our own. The Shell Responsible Tax Principles guide our decisions on tax matters.

Shell responsible tax principles

  • Accountability and Governance

    Principle 1. Accountability and Governance

    Tax is a core part of corporate governance and responsibility and is overseen by Shell plc’s Board of Directors.
  • Compliance

    Principle 2. Compliance

    We are committed to complying with the tax legislation of the countries in which we operate and pay the right amount of tax at the right time, in the countries where we create value.

  • Business Structure

    Principle 3: Business Structure

    We will only use business structures that are driven by commercial considerations, are aligned with business activity and which have genuine substance. We do not seek abusive tax results.

  • Relationships with Authorities

    Principle 4: Relationships with Authorities

    We seek, wherever possible, to develop co-operative relationships with tax authorities, based on mutual respect, transparency and trust.

  • Seeking and Accepting Tax Incentives

    Principle 5: Seeking and Accepting Tax Incentives

    Where we claim tax incentives offered by governments, we seek to ensure that they are transparent and consistent with statutory and regulatory frameworks.

  • Supporting Effective Tax Systems

    Principle 6: Supporting Effective Tax Systems

    We engage constructively in national and international dialogue with governments, business groups and civil society to support the development of effective tax systems, legislation and administration.

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    Principle 7: Transparency

    We provide regular information to our stakeholders, including investors, policymakers, employees, professional service providers and the general public about our approach to tax and taxes paid.


  • 2021

    Shell agrees to report on environmental, social and governance performance factors, including tax, against the World Economic Forum Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics

  • 2019

    First publication of Shell’s Tax Contribution Report

  • 2018

    Pilot International Compliance and Assurance Programme

    Shell commits to the B Team Responsible Tax Principles

  • 2017

    Publication of Shell UK Tax Strategy and Statement on Tax Evasion

    Shell’s first country-by-country report submitted to tax authorities

  • 2016

    First publication of Payments to Governments Report in line with European regulations (covering exploration and production activities)

  • 2012

    First voluntary publication of tax payments in 14 countries

    Publication of Shell’s Approach to Tax

  • 2003

    One of the initiators of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

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More in Sustainability

Preventing the facilitation of tax evasion

Shell does not condone, encourage or support tax evasion, and is committed to implementing procedures to prevent anybody employed or contracted to Shell or acting on Shell’s behalf facilitating the evasion of tax.

Tax Contribution Report 2020

The Tax Contribution Report is an important move for Shell towards greater transparency around our approach to paying taxes, and aims to offer a deeper understanding of our principles and actions in this area.

Payments to governments

We are supporting transparency in the payments we make to governments and helping them to better manage oil and gas revenues.

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Our Values

At Shell, we share a set of core values – honesty, integrity and respect for people – which underpin all the work we do. The Shell General Business Principles, Code of Conduct, and Ethics and Compliance Manual help everyone at Shell act in line with these values and comply with relevant laws and regulations.

Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics for Executive Directors and Senior Financial Officers of the Shell group.

Sustainability reports

We publish an annual sustainability report and a number of other reports addressing various  environmental, social and governance topics.