Rio Tinto hit with a $447m tax­a­tion bill

Pilbara News - - News - John McCarthy

Min­ing gi­ant Rio Tinto has been sent a $447 mil­lion tax bill by the Aus­tralian Tax­a­tion Of­fice.

In a state­ment re­leased last week, the London-based com­pany said the ATO had is­sued amended in­come tax as­sess­ments to Rio Tinto for the cal­en­dar years 2010 to 2013, re­quir­ing it to pay ad­di­tional tax of $A379 mil­lion, plus in­ter­est of $A68 mil­lion, a to­tal of $A447 mil­lion.

Rio said it would chal­lenge the as­sess­ment but would pay half the bill this month.

Rio said it had paid $25.5 bil­lion of taxes and roy­al­ties in Aus­tralia dur­ing the dis­puted four-year pe­riod.

“The amended as­sess­ments do not re­late to any tax avoid­ance schemes, as con­firmed by the ATO. No penal­ties are payable,” it said.

“The is­sue in dis­pute is the pric­ing of cer­tain trans­ac­tions be­tween Rio Tinto en­ti­ties based in Aus­tralia and the group’s com­mer­cial cen­tre in Sin­ga­pore.”

The com­pany said it vol­un­tar­ily ap­proached the ATO more than a decade ago seek­ing to con­firm its pric­ing ar­range­ments.

“The trans­fer price in dis­pute is in line with an out­come agreed to by the ATO years be­fore 2010.

“Rio Tinto con­sid­ers that its pric­ing is in ac­cor­dance with the in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised OECD guide­lines and Aus­tralian do­mes­tic law,” it said.

Mean­while, the ex­ec­u­tive sacked by Rio Tinto over a con­tro­ver­sial $13.8 mil­lion pay­ment to a con­sul­tant to an African pres­i­dent is back in the min­ing game.

Alan Davies, who was sacked in Novem­ber, has re-emerged as the chief ex­ec­u­tive of London out­fit, Mox­ico Re­sources PLC, which is de­vel­op­ing a large open­cut cop­per mine in Zam­bia, Africa.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Rio Tinto has copped an ad­di­tional $447 mil­lion tax bill.

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