Tag: Structured finance transactions

New Zealand vs BNZ Investments Ltd, July 2009, HIGH COURT

New Zealand vs BNZ Investments Ltd, July 2009, HIGH COURT

The case: Is each of six similar structured finance transactions entered into by the plaintiffs (the BNZ) a ‘tax avoidance arrangement’ void under s BG 1 Income Tax Act 1994? That is the primary issue in these five consolidated proceedings brought by the BNZ against the Commissioner, challenging his assessments issued after he voided each of the transactions pursuant to s BG 1. The BNZ claims the transactions are not caught by s BG 1. A second issue, arising only if s BG 1 applies, is the correctness of the way in which the Commissioner has, pursuant to s GB 1, counteracted the tax advantage obtained by the BNZ under the transactions. The Commissioner disallowed the deductions claimed by the BNZ, as its costs of the transactions. The BNZ claims the deductions should be disallowed only to the extent they are excessive or ‘overmarket’. A third, and perhaps strictly antecedent, issue is whether the guarantee arrangement fee (GAF) or guarantee ... Continue to full case
New Zealand vs Westpac Banking Corporation, February 2009, High Court, Case no CA624/07

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

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. By August 2002 Westpac’s total investment in the transactions was NZD4.36b, representing 18% of its assets. The Commissioner says that the purpose or effect of the transactions or parts of them was tax avoidance. He has reassessed Westpac to liability of $586m. With the addition of use of money interest of $375m, the total amount of tax at issue is $961m (including voluntary payments of $443m made by the bank under protest). In brief summary, the transactions were structured in this way: Westpac, acting through subsidiaries, purchased preference shares issued by specially formed subsidiaries (in one case a partnership was used) within a counterparty group ... Continue to full case