The High Court has ruled Australian banks can be hit by massive tax bills over their large company case law, with one of the largest financial institutions, ANZ, set to have to pay a bill of more than $30 billion.
The decision, made on Tuesday, comes after ANZ was forced to fight back against the Government in the High Court to be forced to release a financial statement it had not seen.
It is expected that the bank’s revenue and profitability will be hurt by the bill.
The court ruling means the large financial firms are likely to have their profits taxed at a lower rate than smaller companies.
This is a big blow for Australian companies who rely on large Australian companies to support their operations.
ANZ CEO Tony Williams said the ruling was a huge victory for Australian taxpayers.
“This ruling is a landmark victory for Australians, particularly small businesses,” Mr Williams said.
ANZ has been forced to take on a lot of tax liabilities in its large company legal case against the Commonwealth Government. “
I am confident this ruling will benefit Australian small businesses and the wider Australian economy.”
ANZ has been forced to take on a lot of tax liabilities in its large company legal case against the Commonwealth Government.
The case was brought in 2013 when it was the biggest company in Australia.
The government is seeking to claw back nearly $50 billion from ANZ.
The bank has also argued it has been wrongly assessed a tax bill of nearly $17 billion.
“We will be appealing the decision, but it is not likely to be an easy case to win,” Mr Williamson said.
The large company court case is one of a number of major corporate disputes that the Government has been trying to get out of the way.
“The Government has always said they would be seeking to reduce this bill, but they have failed to do so,” Mr Justice Brown said.
He said it was important the Government understood the large companies were important to Australia’s economy and that their actions affected many Australians.
“That is why the Government’s actions have been so disappointing,” he said.
In the long run, the large company judgment could have a significant impact on Australian businesses.
“It is possible that this case will also be used as a basis to further reduce some other significant business tax bills,” he added.