Thursday July 5, 2012
Olympus ordered to pay US$63mil back taxes
TOKYO: Japanese authorities have ordered Olympus to pay about US$63mil in back taxes and penalties, according to reports yesterday, as the disgraced firm tries to recover from a loss cover-up scandal.
The liability was tied to a 15 billion yen (US$188mil) advisory fee that Olympus claimed to have paid during its 2008 acquisition of British medical equipment maker Gyrus Group, the Nikkei business daily and Jiji Press reported.
The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau told the camera and medical equipment maker that it must pay about five billion yen over the undeclared fee, which was actually part of a bid to conceal losses at the firm, the reports said.
Japan's revenue collector said the Gyrus advisory fee did not qualify as a legitimate expense, the reports said.
An Olympus spokeswoman declined to comment.
Olympus was found to have used past acquisitions and outsized consultant fees to hide huge losses worth over US$1.7bil dating back to the 1990s, after its British former chief executive blew the whistle on the accounting fraud last year.
The firm initially denied the allegations but eventually admitted wrongdoing, with Olympus and three former senior executives including ex-president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa charged over their role in the scandal. AFP