$38m tax windfall for CBH

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian
$38m tax windfall for CBH
Camera Icon$38m tax windfall for CBH Credit: The West Australian

The State Government has been forced to repay more than $38 million to CBH after the grain co-operative scored a big win over the WA taxman.

The money was returned after CBH argued it had been incorrectly charged payroll tax and stamp duty since July 2007.

CBH revealed the windfall in its annual report as a "one-off cash refund in relation to State taxes totalling $38,335,000".

The favourable ruling also means CBH will be exempt from the taxes in the future under its co-operative structure.

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CBH, controlled by 4200 grower members, is on track to make a record profit of more than $165 million this year following WA's biggest-ever grain harvest. It made $131.7 million last year and $162.5 million in 2012, the two best results in its 81-year history.

In his report to members, chief executive Andy Crane said the tax ruling recognised the contribution CBH made as a co-operative to Australian agriculture.

"Funds returned from this ruling will be used to further strengthen the WA grain supply chain, lower fees through an operations rebate of $0.85 per tonne on 2013-14 harvest storage and handling charges and support your local community," Dr Crane said.

In 2010, the Australian Tax Office lost a long-running court battle to strip CBH of tax-free status for its storage and handling arm.

The ATO ruled in 2008 that it no longer believed the predominant purpose of the storage and handling business was to promote the development of Australia's agricultural resources, which is the basis for its tax-free status.

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