Marine services, the country’s third-largest public company, has said it has no idea how much it will owe HM Revenue and Customs in connection with the controversial “marine tax” legislation.
The Royal Australian Navy has been under pressure to comply with the new law, which requires it to report the tax it collects on the cost of goods and services to the government, and to disclose any tax benefits it receives.
The law, introduced by the Liberal National Party (LNP) government in July, will apply to the cost-of-living allowances and allowances for the maintenance and supply of boats and vessels.
The RAN has not received any official request from HMRC for a compliance report, but it is understood the government has asked it to provide information on its tax liabilities.
A spokesperson for Marine Services, the Government’s third largest public company by revenue, said: “We do not have a current assessment of any liability.”
They added that HMRC had not informed them of any obligation to provide this information.
The spokesperson said the company was not aware of any statutory obligation to do so.
“We do, however, regularly update our financial statements to reflect any statutory obligations we may have under law,” the spokesperson said.
“However, we are unable to provide a breakdown of the extent to which HMRC has complied with this obligation as this is the responsibility of HMRC.”
The spokesperson refused to comment on whether the company had provided information to HMRC on any of its financial statements.
Marine Services, which is Australia’s third biggest public company after the RAN and the ANZ, has more than 60 vessels operating in the waters off Western Australia, including three patrol vessels.
A recent report by the Australian Institute of Marine Science found the company’s fleet of 19 vessels in Western Australia was among the most vulnerable to the impact of the law.
The study found the Ran and ANZ could face a shortfall of $3.2 billion in revenue by 2021 if they fail to meet the new statutory requirement to report on the value of their operating costs.