News Corp. Wins $2.06 Billion Australian Tax Case

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Federal court judge found the Australian tax office assessments on News Corp claims to be “excessive”

SYDNEY - News Corp.’s Australian companies have successfully appealed a decision by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to disallow tax deductions stemming from $2.06 billion in currency losses in 2000-2002.

Federal Court judge Justice Nye Perram on Tuesday found the tax office assessments had been “excessive” according to local media reports.

The deductions were claimed by News Limited companies following the global reorganization of News Corp. in 1989, when it underwent a complex refinancing. News Ltd was the holding, management and operating company for Rupert Murdoch’s media business.

News’ appeals related to currency exchange losses which totaled $647.8 million in 2001 and $1.46 billion in 2002, from losses transferred to them by an American arm of News Corp, News Publishers Holdings. They were shared amongst 18 News Limited companies including The Herald and Weekly Times group, publisher of the Herald Sun, Sunday Herald Sun and The Weekly Times; Nationwide News, publisher of The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, and The Australian; and News's book division, HarperCollins Publishers Australia.

Justice Perram ordered the ATO to redetermine News’ tax liability and pay News’ costs.

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