Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Toll anticipates $19M for tax avoidance penalties

Toll anticipates $19M for tax avoidance penalties

By Pattrick Smellie

Jan 15 (BusinessDesk) - Toll Holdings has revealed a possible cost of $19 million from its battle with the Inland Revenue Department over the use of optional convertible notes to shuffle trans-Tasman income.

But the company has yet to include provisioning in its accounts for the possible loss of its tax dispute as a key Court of Appeal decision is still pending on the issue, which could see as many as 16 Australian companies with New Zealand subsidiaries hit with additional tax bills of up to $300 million in total.

Toll Group (NZ) declared a $35.9 million loss for the year to June 30 due to major changes in finance income and expenses between the last two financial years, in accounts lodged with the Companies Office.

In the 2010/11 year, Toll NZ declared finance income of $52.1 million, compared with just $1.4 million last year, while finance expenses rose from $28.3 million in the previous year to $42.8 million in the year under review.

Operating earnings before finance expenses and tax were roughly level with the previous year, at $7 million, against $7.3 million in the year earlier, with total revenue lifting to $383 million from $377.1 million the previous year.

Toll is one of 16 companies with trans-Tasman operations who are facing challenges by the IRD about the use of OCN's, a quasi-equity instrument, to reduce tax liability on this side of the Tasman between 2003 and 2011.

IRD won the first test case, involving West Australian firm Alesco, in late 2012. Alesco challenged in the Court of Appeal last October and a judgment has yet to be issued.

"The group ... makes provision in its financial statements only where it is probable that actual events giving rise to a liability will occur and the amount of the liability can be reliably estimated," the notes to the Toll accounts say.

Other Australasian operators caught up in the challenges include Telstra and the owners of the TV3 and Radio Live broadcasting networks, Ironbridge Capital.
The Toll accounts note there are two sets of disputes, one relating to OCN transactions between 2003 and 2008, which the Alesco case related to, and the other relating to transactions between 2009 and 2011 which have yet to make it to the High Court.

"The financial impact of the dispute, including interest and after the effect of available tax losses, is estimated at $19 million," the Toll notes say. In Toll's case, the IRD has handed down amended tax assessments relating to investments made by Toll between 2002 and 2005.

Toll bought what is now the state-owned KiwiRail from American investors who had acquired the national rail service in a privatisation deal in the mid-1990's. Toll resold the rail part of the business back to the New Zealand government in 2008, while retaining the TranzLink trucking and freight logistics operations.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Internet: NZ Govt Lifts Target Speeds For Rural Broadband

The government has lifted its expectations on faster broadband speeds for rural New Zealand as it targets increased spending on research and development in the country's information and communications technology sector, which it sees as a key driver for export growth. More>>


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Scouring: Cavalier Merger Would Extract 'Monopoly Rents' - Godfrey Hirst

A merger of Cavalier Wool Holdings and New Zealand Wool Services International's two wool scouring operations would create a monopoly, says carpet maker Godfrey Hirst. The Commerce Commission on Friday released its second draft determination on the merger, maintaining its view that the public benefits would outweigh the loss of competition. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: She Means Business

As Foreman says in her conclusion, this is a business book. It opens with a brief biographical section followed by a collection of interesting tips for entrepreneurs... More>>


Hourly Wage Gap Grows: Gender Pay Gap Still Fixed At Fourteen Percent

“The totally unchanged pay gap is a slap in the face for women, families and the economy,” says Coalition spokesperson, Angela McLeod. Even worse, Māori and Pacific women face an outrageous pay gap of 28% and 33% when compared with the pay packets of Pākehā men. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news