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Australia High Court dismisses BHP appeal against tax office payment order

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An Australian court dismissed on Wednesday an appeal by BHP Group against a ruling by the Australian Taxation Office over US$87 million in payments the government said were owed by the top global miner's marketing arm.

[SYDNEY] An Australian court dismissed on Wednesday an appeal by BHP Group against a ruling by the Australian Taxation Office over US$87 million in payments the government said were owed by the top global miner's marketing arm.

The dispute was over whether BHP should have paid so-called "top up tax" in Australia on the profits its Singapore marketing hub made from selling coal from the Mt Arthur mine in Australia, which is owned by the UK side of BHP's dual-listed structure, BHP Group plc.

The court ruled that commodities acquired from Australian subsidiaries of BHP Group plc are subject to "top up tax" in Australia under "controlled foreign company" rules.

"Appeal dismissed with costs," Chief Justice Susan Kiefel told the High Court.

In its 2019 annual report, BHP estimated the total primary tax subject to dispute for the 2006-2018 income years was US$87 million. 

REUTERS