Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Ltd entered into a loan note issuance agreement (the LNIA) with a company (the subscriber) that was resident in Singapore. Singapore Telecom Australia and the subscriber were ultimately 100% owned by the same company. The loan notes issued totalled approximately $5.2 billion to the subscriber. The terms of the LNIA was amendet on three occasions – the first amendment and the second amendment were expressed to have effect as from the date when the LNIA was originally entered into. The interest rate under the LNIA as amended by the third amendment was 13.2575%
Following an audit the tax authorities issued an amended assessment under the transfer pricing provisions and denied interest deductions totalling approximately $894 million in respect of four years of income.
According to the tax authorities the conditions agreed between the parties differed from the arm’s length principle.
Singapore Telecom Australia appealed the assessment to the Federal Court.
Judgement of the Federal Court
The court upheld the the assessment issued by the tax authorities and dismissed the appeal of Singapore Telecom Australia.
Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Ltd FCA 1597