By Andrew Starke

The Federal Court of Australia has ruled in favour of Foster’s Group in the brewing giant’s long-running battle with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Foster’s won its appeal against an ATO assessment that may have cost the company as much as $546 million.

The case, which was first sparked by a routine tax audit in 1999, involves disputed tax assessments relating to the financing of the Elders Finance Group in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

The ATO took the position that Foster’s should not have written off debts owed to it by Elders as the company was a related entity when Foster’s claimed the losses as a tax deduction.

“We welcome the Federal Court’s decision,” said Foster’s chief financial officer, Angus McKay. “We have always been confident in our position and hope this matter will be brought to a swift resolution.”

The Australian Commissioner of Taxation has the right to appeal the Federal Court’s decision.

Pending any decision by the Commissioner to appeal, Foster’s does not expect any change in its financial position.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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