Global Trade

Singtel warns of a $216 million loss in an Australian tax case.

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Singapore Telecommunications Ltd estimates it faces A$304 million ($216 million) in tax exposure, interest, and penalties after an Australian court rejected its appeal against an assessment by the country’s taxation authority.

The dispute revolves around its 2001 acquisition of Singtel Optus Pty Limited. Singapore Telecom Australia Investments (STAI), Singtel’s Australian subsidiary, received updated assessments from the Australian Taxation Office in 2016 and 2017 for A$268 million in primary tax, A$58 million in interest, and A$67 million in penalties.

Singtel stated in a statement on Sunday that the Federal Court of Australia had issued a “unfavorable judgment” in its appeal against the assessments.

According to Singtel, the exposures, which include a return of withholding tax, were fully declared as contingent liabilities in preceding periods’ audited financial statements.

“The Singtel Group will consider the details of the judgment, explore available options and determine next steps. If the above tax exposures are assessed to be probable, provisions shall be made in the accounts,” Singtel said in the statement.

Story by : Norvisi Mawunyegah