Monday 15. February, 2016

Crown Resorts Disputing $362 Million Tax Bill

James Packer’s Crown Resorts has been hit with a $362 million bill from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The bill is for the years ending June 30, 2009 to 2014; however the Crown has disputed the amended tax assessment from the ATO, claiming it has paid the correct amount of taxes.

The assessments relate to the tax treatment of some of the Crown’s assets and investments in the US, particularly the Cannery Casino Resorts which they acquired in 2007 for AU$2.4 billion. They own the Cannery Casino and Hotel in North Las Vegas and the Eastside Cannery Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, as well as the Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Crown was subsequently forced into billions of dollars of write-downs on the Cannery investment.

The $362 million bill from the ATO is split between $250 million in tax and interest and $112 million in penalties.

“Crown is a significant taxpayer in Australia and disputes the amended assessments,” announced Crown in a statement.

“Crown considers that it has paid the correct amount of tax and intends to pursue all available avenues of objection (including, if necessary, court proceedings) to the amended assessments.”

The ATO would not comment citing taxpayer confidentiality and while Crown would not provide specifics of their challenge, they did issue a statement regarding their tax payments for the financial year ending in 2015.

“Crown Resorts is a model corporate citizen and pays its fair share of taxes,” commented a spokesperson for Crown. “In financial year 2015, Crown paid more than $640 million in taxes to all levels of Australian governments, which amounts to almost two thirds of Crown’s Australian normalised profit before tax.”

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