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IRD loses High Court battle with Trustpower

Inland Revenue has lost a High Court fight with NZX-listed Trustpower over whether $17 million the electricity company spent on resource consents was tax deductible.

Trustpower, the country’s fourth-largest retailer and fifth-largest generator of electricity, said $17.7 million spent in applying and getting resource consents for four projects was part of feasibility analysis and was tax deductible.

The projects in question was a hydro scheme at Arnold River on the South Island’s west coast, a Southland wind farm, a hydro project on the Wairau River and a wind farm west of Dunedin.

Inland Revenue argued these resource consents were intangible capital assets and what was spent in obtaining them was capital expenditure and therefore not tax deductible.

Trustpower then filed court action in 2011 against Inland Revenue and Justice Pamela Andrews found in favour of the electricity company in a decision released publicly today.

“While the judgement remains open to appeal, this is a pleasing result for Trustpower in a dispute that has run close to six years and required substantial time and resources to litigate, Trustpower chief executive Vince Hawksworth said today.