Cable & Wireless Australia loses tax refund appeal

2 May 2017

Cable & Wireless Australia has lost an appeal in which it was seeking a tax refund of AUD339 million (USD254 million) over the 2001 sale of local communications group Optus to Singtel Group. According to Reuters, C&W Australia took the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to the Federal Court in 2015, claiming it should have only paid AUD135 million in tax on the deal which saw it sell its 82% stake in Optus for AUD6.2 billion. With almost AUD4 billion of the funds received from Singtel having been treated as a dividend payment that was taxed at 15%, C&W Australia – which ended up paying tax of AUD587 million for the transaction – had argued that it should have been treated as a capital gain because of the way the deal was structured.

Australia, Cable & Wireless Australia, Optus