Moreton Resources (Subject Of R&D Tax Disputes) Enters Voluntary Administration

June 16th, 2020

Moreton Resources Ltd announced to the ASX on 10 June that the company has appointed administrators.

Moreton Resources Ltd had become well publicised for its ongoing R&D tax disputes with Innovation and Science Australia:

  • A decision by the AAT in September 2018 found in favour of Innovation and Science Australia, concluding that registered R&D Activities were not R&D Activities in accordance with the legislative criteria;
  • A subsequent appeal to the federal court in July 2019, found in favour of Moreton Resources Ltd, and determined the AAT’s narrow construction of “Core R&D activities” in the first instance was in error, and to be set aside and reheard.

An announcement to the ASX on 13 February 2020 stated the following:

  • “The hearing of Moreton Resources & Innovation and Science Australia in the AAT has concluded this week, with the tribunal’s decision reserved. The company is now awaiting finalisation of decisions.”

There has been no publication of the AAT decision since this announcement. Announcements in preceding months had indicated that the company was expecting a successful outcome the second time around at the AAT.

It is likely that the R&D Tax dispute was not the sole reason for the administrator appointment, and other commercial factors were at play.

It is understood that the company was subject to other challenges, including a Financial Assistance dispute with the Department of Environment & Science in respect of quantification of environmental harm announced to the ASX on 28 May 2020.

 

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