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How to work out PRRT

Information on how an entity calculates the petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT) liability for a project.

Last updated 17 June 2020

Petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT) liability is calculated on the taxable profit the entity makes from an interest in a petroleum project in a year of tax.

Taxable profit is calculated by subtracting certain deductible expenditure and transferred exploration expenditure from the assessable receipts derived from the project interest.

An entity's PRRT liability is levied at 40% of the taxable profit made from its interest in the project.

If an entity holds an interest in an exploration permit or retention lease, it will not have a liability to pay PRRT until a production licence is derived from that interest and commercial production starts.

Framework for calculating PRRT liability

The basic framework for calculating a PRRT liability is:

  • assessable receipts – deductible expenditure – transferred exploration expenditure = taxable profit
  • taxable profit × 40% = PRRT liability.

If assessable receipts exceed deductible expenditure and transferred exploration expenditure there is a taxable profit. This amount is taxed 40%.

If deductible expenditure exceeds assessable receipts, there is no taxable profit and no PRRT liability. Any unused deductible expenditure is uplifted and carried forward and will be deducted against future assessable receipts derived in later years.

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Payment of PRRT liabilities

Entities with an interest in a production licence that is in commercial production are required to lodge an annual Petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT) return (NAT 9849) about their PRRT liability.

An entity is required to pay its PRRT liability in three cumulative quarterly instalments with a final payment when it lodges its annual PRRT return.

The quarterly PRRT instalment is calculated using the taxable profit attributed up to the end of the instalment period.

Where the PRRT instalments paid exceed the assessed PRRT liability for the year, there will be a PRRT refundable amount when the PRRT return is lodged.

Entities with an interest in an exploration permit, retention lease or a production licence that has not started commercial production are not required to lodge an annual PRRT return or pay quarterly PRRT instalments.

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