Tobacco Firm Under IRD Investigation

May 6, 2010 New Zealand Taxation

an american originalThe New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has begun a review of financing transactions made by a tobacco firm.

On May 6th British American Tobacco (New Zealand) Ltd (BAT) revealed that it is currently under investigation by the IRD for a set of financing transactions. Although both parties refused to disclose complete details on the investigation, industry analysts believe that the alleged discretion is similar to the tax evasion through structured financing charges laid against several New Zealand banks recently.

The BTA has announced that NZD 39.6 million has been set aside as a reserve for any back taxes that might need to be paid. The BTA commented further that the IRD has not yet filed an official complaint or issued all appropriate documents. When all official procedures and investigations are completed by the IRD, BTA will make a full comment on its position. An official statement issued by the BTA claims that recent court rulings against structured financing indicate that the New Zealand Government is taking a conservative jurisprudence approach and the BTA will have similar results to previous cases.

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