BHP share price stumbles amid super-profit tax fears

BHP's management is worried the company could be in the crosshairs of treasurer Jim Chalmers as the government looks for additional revenue.

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Key points

  • The BHP share price has dipped into the red on Monday
  • The ASX 200 miner is concerned it may be subjected to a federal ‘super profit’ tax akin to Queensland’s state coal royalties
  • BHP booked a half-year profit after tax of US$6.5 billion for the six months ending 31 December

The BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) share price is sliding on Monday.

Shares in the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) mining giant closed on Friday trading for $48.32. At the time of writing, shares are swapping hands for $48.09, down 0.5%.

That's right about in line with the 0.4% loss posted by the S&P/ASX 200 Resource Index (ASX: XJR).

So, what's all this about super-profit tax fears?

Why is the ASX 200 miner concerned about taxes?

The BHP share price is sliding amid news out from the ASX 200 miner's pre-budget submission to the federal government expressing concerns over the business outlook in Australia.

As The Australian reports, BHP's management is worried the company could be in the crosshairs of treasurer Jim Chalmers as the government looks for additional revenue.

The miner believes the federal government may take a page out of Queensland's book and legislate a super-profit tax.

As you likely recall, in 2022, Queensland's state government passed a controversial outsized increase to coal royalties amid rocketing prices for the black gold.

That move was not well received by the big miners. BHP's CEO Mike Henry went so far as to pause any new capex on mine expansions in Queensland.

And the Australian federal government is on notice it could face a similar cutback in new domestic project funding.

"Any attempt to address structural pressures on the budget by increasing the tax burden on business will result in a similar outcome: reduced investment, fewer jobs and, in the long term, lower living standards for Australians," BHP stated in its pre-budget submission.

While there are no clear indications yet of Chalmers' plans, BHP certainly has plenty of 'super-profits' the government might be interested in taking a slice of.

The ASX 200 miner's half-year results were down from the previous year's half and came in below some expectations, which saw the BHP share price close down 0.3% the day the company reported.

Yet revenue of US$25.7 billion and profit after tax of US$6.5 billion might be hard for the cash strapped Albanese government to ignore.

Stay tuned.

BHP share price snapshot

As you can see in the chart below, the BHP share price has rebounded strongly since early November and is currently up 6% in 2023.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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