Countries: New Zealand

New Zealand vs Frucor Suntory, September 2022, Supreme Court, Case No [2022] NZSC 113

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Frucor Suntory (FHNZ) had deducted purported interest expenses that had arisen in the context of a tax scheme involving, among other steps, its issue of a Convertible Note to Deutsche Bank, New Zealand Branch (DBNZ), and a forward purchase of the shares DBNZ could call for under the Note by FHNZ’s Singapore based parent Danone […]

New Zealand vs Frucor Suntory, September 2020, Court of appeal, Case No [2020] NZCA 383

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Frucor Suntory (FHNZ) had deducted purported interest expenses that had arisen in the context of a tax scheme involving, among other steps, its issue of a Convertible Note to Deutsche Bank, New Zealand Branch (DBNZ), and a forward purchase of the shares DBNZ could call for under the Note by FHNZ’s Singapore based parent Danone […]

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 […]

New Zealand vs Cullen Group Limited, March 2019, New Zealand High Court, Case No [2019] NZHC 404

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In moving to the United Kingdom, a New Zealand citizen, Mr. Eric Watson, restructured a significant shareholding into debt owed by a New Zealand company, Cullen Group Ltd, to two Cayman Island conduit companies, all of which he still controlled to a high degree. This allowed Cullen Group Ltd to pay an Approved Issuer Levy (AIL) totalling $8 million, rather than Non-Resident […]

New Zealand vs Frucor Suntory, November 2018, High Court, Case No NZHC 2860

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This case concerns application of the general anti-avoidance rule in s BG 1 of the Income Tax Act 2004. The tax authorities issued an assessment where deductions of $10,827,606 and $11,665,323 were disallowed in the 2006 and 2007 income tax years respectively. In addition, penalties of $1,786,555 and $1,924,779 for those years were imposed. The […]

New Zealand introduces Group Rating Approach for certain Cross-Border relatet party Borrowing and Debt Arrangements

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The OECD’s final report on interest limitation rules notes that thin capitalisation rules are vulnerable to loans with excessive interest rates and many transfer pricing practicioneres finds that transfer pricing may not the most effective way to prevent profit-shifting using high-priced related party debt. Related-party transactions are fundamentally different to third-party transactions. Factors that increase […]

New Zealand vs Honk Land Trustee Limited, 10 March 2017, Court of Appeal

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The Court of Appeal upheld decisions of the High Court confirming the Commissioner of Inland Revenue’s disallowance of a $1,116,000 management fee for income tax purposes. The Court of Appeal dismissed Honk Land Trustees Limited’s (“HLT”) appeal on the following alternative grounds: (1) there was no satisfactory evidence to show that management services were in […]

New Zealand vs Alesco New Zealand Limited and others, Supreme Court, SC 33/2013, NZSC 66 (9 July 2013)

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In 2003 Alesco New Zealand Ltd (Alesco NZ) bought two other New Zealand companies. Its Australian owner, Alesco Corporation (Alesco), funded the acquisitions by advancing the purchase monies of $78 million. In consideration Alesco NZ issued a series of optional convertible notes (OCNs or notes). The notes were non-interest bearing for a fixed term and […]

New Zealand vs Westpac Banking Corporation, February 2009, High Court, Case no CA624/07

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Westpac Banking Corporation has challenged amended assessments issued by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue to its taxation liability for the years 1999 to 2005. The assessments impugn the bank’s taxation treatment of nine structured finance transactions entered into with overseas counterparties in that period. The funds invested in each transaction ranged between NZD390m and NZD1.5b. […]

New Zealand vs Ben Nevis Forestry Ventures Ltd., December 2008, Supreme Court, Case No [2008] NZSC 115, SC 43/2007 and 44/2007

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The tax scheme in the Ben Nevis-case involved land owned by the subsidiary of a charitable foundation being licensed to a group of single purpose investor loss attributing qualifying companies (LAQC’s). The licensees were responsible for planting, maintaining and harvesting the forest through a forestry management company. The investors paid $1,350 per hectare for the […]