Lendlease Retirement $300M tax office issue moves to audit stage

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In 2014, Lendlease moved a large number of residents from lease contracts to loan contracts, delivering a $300 million tax advantage.

As we reported here, the ATO initiated a draft determination on this type of strategy and in 2020 initiated enquiries on whether Lendlease had double dipped its tax benefit by not acknowledging a future capital gains tax.

Lendlease says it is working with the ATO, which has quietly moved to the audit stage with Lendlease, particularly around the treatment of the $300 million in the partial sale in 2017 of 25% of the business to Dutch investment fund APT.

In the Financial Review last week, Lendlease said: “Lendlease is not in dispute with the ATO.”

“In August 2021, the ATO notified Lendlease it was conducting an audit of the partial sale of our Retirement Living business in the 2018 year.”

“We believe our tax treatment of this sale is in accordance with the law and consistent with the ATO’s ruling (TR2002/14) on the taxation of the retirement living industry.”