Clive Palmer settles ATO stoush as counting for Fairfax continues

Myriam Robin /

Billionaire Clive Palmer has settled his Federal Court stoush with the Australian Tax Office.

The disagreement between Palmer’s company Mineralogy and the ATO was withdrawn from the Federal Court on Monday, according to the Australian Financial Review. No details of the settlement have been made publicly available.

The tax upset related to the payment of capital gains tax on the sale of $90 million in iron ore mining rights to a Chinese company, Citic Pacific, in 2006.

The ATO had argued in court that Mineralogy made a total of $300 million in capital gains from the sale, leading to a $90 million tax liability.

However, Mineralogy argued the ATO’s calculations were mistaken, as it had actually made a net capital loss of $7.3 million in the 2006 financial year, meaning its tax liability should be reduced to just $12 million.

It’s unclear how much Palmer’s privately held company ended up paying in the settlement.

Meanwhile, Palmer’s odds of winning the seat of Fairfax off the Liberal incumbent are firming up. On Wednesday morning, Palmer was 1391 votes ahead with 78% of the vote counted, giving him a two-party count of 50.99% to his Liberal National Party opponent, Ted O’Brien.

On Tuesday, Palmer said he didn’t expect to win because the electoral system was “corrupt”.

“I’d be highly surprised if I won,” he told AAP.

“But there’s absolutely no way I will win based on voting irregularities and the security of the ballots.

“Having votes marked in pencil is just a joke,” he added.

“Even in Zimbabwe you have to mark your thumb with ink and have identification. What’s to stop one guy going into 10 different polling booths and voting 10 times?”

Myriam Robin

Myriam Robin is a reporter for SmartCompany and its sister site LeadingCompany. She has degrees in economics, international studies and journalism. She likes writing about businesses taking risks and doing new things.