Countries: Australia

Australia vs PwC, March 2022, Federal Court of Australia, Case No FCA 278

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In the course of an audit a formal request to produce certain documents was issued to the multinational meat production group JBS by the Australian tax authorities. On behalf of its client, PwC claimed that the documents requested were subject to legal professional privilege (LPP), and therefore did not need to be produced. Thus, PwC declined to provide approximately 44,000 documents. The tax authorities disputed the LPP claims over approximately 15,500 documents. However, for the […]

Australia vs Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Ltd, December 2021, Federal Court of Australia, Case No FCA 1597

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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 […]

ResMed Inc has entered a $381.7 million tax settlement agreement with the Australian Tax Office

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ResMed – a world-leading digital health company – in an October 2021 publication of results for the first quarter of FY 2022, informs that a $381.7 million tax settlement agreement has been entered with the Australian Tax Office. The dispute concerns the years 2009 through 2018, in which the ATO alleged that ResMed should have paid additional Australian taxes on income derived from the company’s Singapore operations. Excerpts from the announcement “Operating cash flow for […]

ATO and Singtel in Court over Intra-company Financing Arrangement

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In 2001, Singtel, through its wholly owned Australian subsidiary, Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Limited (Singtel Au), acquired the majority of the shares in Cable & Wireless Optus for $17.2 billion. The tax consequences of this acqusition was decided by the Federal Court in Cable & Wireless Australia & Pacific Holding BV (in liquiatie) v Commissioner of Taxation [2017] FCAFC 71. Cable & Wireless argued that part of the price paid under a share buy-back […]

Australia vs CUB Australia Holding Pty Ltd, September 2021, Federal Court of Australia, Case No FCAFC 171

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In this case CUB Australia Holding Pty Ltd appeals a judicial review decision by a judge of the Federal Court. The tax authorities had issued a Notice on 4 March 2020 requesting CUB to provide certain details about documents over which CUB had claimed legal professional privilege (LPP). CUB declined to provide the requested details about the documents in full. The tax authorities then issued a “formal notice” to the taxpayer demanding (under threat of […]

Australia vs Glencore, May 2021, High Court, Case No [2021] HCATrans 098

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Glencore Australia (CMPL) sold copper concentrate produced in Australia to its Swiss parent, Glencore International AG (GIAG). The tax authorities found, that the price paid by Glencore International AG to Glencore Australia for the copper concentrate in the relevant years according to a price sharing agreement was less than the price that might reasonably be expected to have been paid in an arm’s length dealing between independent parties. The tax assessment was brought to court […]

Australia vs Glencore, November 2020, Full Federal Court of Australia, Case No FCAFC 187

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Glencore Australia (CMPL) sold copper concentrate produced in Australia to its Swiss parent, Glencore International AG (GIAG). The tax administration found, that the price paid by Glencore International AG to Glencore Australia for the copper concentrate in the relevant years according to a price sharing agreement was less than the price that might reasonably be expected to have been paid in an arm’s length dealing between independent parties. ‘The amended assessments included in the taxpayer’s […]

Mining Group Rio Tinto in new $86 million Dispute with ATO over pricing of Aluminium

In March 2020 the Australian Taxation Office issued an tax assessment regarding transfer pricing to Rio Tinto’s aluminium division according to which additional taxes in an amount of $86.1 million must be paid for fiscal years 2010 – 2016. According to the assessment Rio’s Australian subsidiaries did not charge an arm’s length price for the aluminium they sold to Rio’s Singapore marketing hub. This new aluminum case is separate to Rio’s long-running $447 million dispute […]

Australia vs BHP Biliton Limited, March 2020, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, Case No [2020] HCA 5

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BHP Billiton Ltd, an Australian resident taxpayer, is part of a dual-listed company arrangement (“the DLC Arrangement”) with BHP Billiton Plc (“Plc”). BHP Billiton Marketing AG is a Swiss trading hub in the group which, during the relevant years, was a controlled foreign company (CFC) of BHP Billiton Ltd because BHP Billiton Ltd indirectly held 58 per cent of the shares in the Swiss trading hub. BHP Billiton Plc indirectly held the remaning 42 per […]

Google – Taxes and Transfer Pricing

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Google’s tax affairs are back in the spotlight after filings in the Netherlands have showed that billions of dollars were moved to Bermuda in 2016 using the “double Irish Dutch sandwich”. According to the Washington Post, Google’s cash transfers to Bermuda reached $27b in 2016. Google uses the double Irish Dutch sandwich structure to shield the majority of it’s international profits from taxation. The setup involves shifting revenue from one Irish subsidiary to a Dutch […]

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