21 Apr 2005

Nauru receivers says unravelling tax issues one of 'toughest ever assignments'

1:06 pm on 21 April 2005

Receivers acting in connection with Nauru say unravelling tax issues concerning the island's business activities in Australia has been one of their toughest ever assignments.

Sydney-based Prentice Parberry Barilla has sold Nauru's Australian assets to clear a US$188 million debt to the US General Electric Capital Corporation.

Nauru's hoping to receive tens of millions of dollars in surplus funds following the liquidation sale, but Australian tax liability must be resolved first.

Steve Parberry of Prentice Parberry Barilla says noone's seeking to drag the process out, but compiling an exact taxation history for the Australian Taxation Office has taken time.

He says the job has been one of the tougher ones faced by the firm.

"We've had to deal with, I suppose, it's cross-border insolvency, we've had basically the assets have laid here in Australia, the liabilities by and large have laid here in Australia but the end beneficiaries have been subject to Nauruan laws as well. And in order for us to disgorge any surplus monies back to Nauru at the end of our process we have to abide by the laws of Australia, so that is quite unique."