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From the Field

Chevron slapped with tax bill

PERTH, April 21, 2017 – An Australian court on Friday ruled against Chevron in an appeal brought before the court over a USD 260-million tax bill.

The US major had contested the levy, covering the period from 2004 through 2008, and expressed disappointment over the ruling.

“We will review the decision to determine next steps, which may include an appeal to the High Court of Australia,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

 

The ruling thwarts Chevron efforts of trying to reduce its tax obligations in Australia.

“The economic effects of the internal financing structure put in place … included CAHPL’s [Chevron Australia Holdings] Australian taxable income being reduced by the deductions it claimed for the interest payments it made to its United States subsidiary,” the court ruling read, which was welcomed by the Australian Tax Office.

“This decision is significant and has direct implications for a number of cases the ATO is currently pursuing in relation to related party loans, as well as indirect implications for other transfer pricing cases,” a spokesperson for the office said.

In other news, a ConocoPhillips executive on Thursday told Reuters that the company was mulling the use of a planned transcontinental pipeline to gain better access to Australia’s southeastern market.

The company’s vice-president for sustainability, communications and external affairs, Kayleen Ewin, also said the likelihood of the Barossa gasfield going up for development was increasing. The field would feed the Darwin LNG plant. “Barossa looks to be the lowest cost development,” Ewin said, adding that ConocoPhillips might give the go-ahead in early 2019

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