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


Westpac to appeal tax avoidance ruling

Westpac to appeal tax avoidance ruling

by Pattrick Smellie

Nov 3. (BusinessWire) - Westpac New Zealand will appeal last month's billion dollar judgement against it in the High Court, which found that four representative structured finance transactions between 1998 and 2005 constituted tax avoidance.

"In our view, there are sound arguments that warrant an appeal of the High Court's decision," said Westpac NZ chief executive George Frazis of the ruling on transactions which allowed foreign-owned banks operating in New Zealand effectively to choose their own rate of tax to pay.

The case is unlikely to be heard any earlier than the last quarter of next year.

Such are the sums involved that appeals to the Supreme Court are also likely, irrespective of how the Court of Appeal rules, meaning that the status of more than $2.2 billion of unpaid back taxes is likely to remain in limbo for some years yet. The total sum involved does not include penalties which the IRD is able to apply as it sees fit.

Earlier this year the Bank of New Zealand, owned by National Australia Bank, lost its challenge against the findings of the Commissioner of Inland Revenue on back taxes and interest owing of $654 million.

In recent days, another applicant against the IRD - ANZ National Bank - added a further $240 million to provisioning already in place to cover unpaid back taxes and interest of $562 million involved in its claim against the IRD.

The two remaining banks with exposure to court actions are ASB, which is owned by Commonwealth Bank of Australia and is contesting claims worth $280 million, and Rabobank of Holland. Deutsche Bank settled with the IRD on similar transactions some time ago.

(BusinessWire) 18:33:48

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Frog Recruitment: Kiwi Workers Reluctant To Make Business Trips Across The Ditch Despite Trans-Tasman Bubble Opening

When the trans-Tasman travel bubble opens today, many Kiwi companies won't be rushing to buy an air ticket, reluctant to cross the ditch to do business. The latest survey conducted by leading recruitment agency, Frog Recruitment of nearly 1,000 New Zealand ... More>>

Tourism: Employers Welcome Back Working Holidaymakers

Tourism businesses gearing up for the return of Australian visitors from next week will be relieved to learn that they will also have access to an offshore pool of much-needed job candidates, Tourism Industry Aotearoa says. Tourism employers around ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Latest Broadband Report Confirms Improved Performance Of Premium Fibre Plans

The latest report from the Commerce Commission’s Measuring Broadband New Zealand programme shows that the performance of Fibre Max plans has improved substantially. This follows a collaboration between the Commission, its independent testing partner, ... More>>

Air New Zealand: Capital Raise Deferred

Air New Zealand has decided to defer its planned capital raise to later in 2021 allowing more time to assess the impacts of recent developments on the airline’s path to recovery. 'We’ve seen some clearing of COVID-19 clouds recently, with ... More>>

Stats NZ: New Report Shows Impact Of Demands On Land In New Zealand

A new environmental report released today by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, presents new data on New Zealand’s land cover, soil quality, and land fragmentation. The land cover data in the report, Our land 2021 , provides the most ... More>>


Stats NZ: March Card Spending Rebounds Despite COVID

There was a lift in retail card spending in March following a fall in the lockdown-disrupted February month, Stats NZ said today. Seasonally adjusted retail card spending rose by $53 million (0.9 percent), compared with February 2021. Visit our website to read ... More>>

PwC: Outcome Of Review Into Air New Zealand Gas Turbines Business

Air New Zealand has received the report into its Gas Turbines business from independent external advisers PwC. Air New Zealand Chairman Dame Therese Walsh says the report identified a range of effective controls in the Gas Turbines revenue contracting ... More>>