There are potential tax implications from the ANZ's sale of a luxury St Heliers Bay mansion to the wife of its former boss David Hisco and the Inland Revenue is likely to be looking closely at it, says a tax expert.
ANZ says it took tax advice at the time but won't answer questions on whether it paid tax relating to the deal.
The house at 269 St Heliers Bay Rd was purchased by ANZ New Zealand-owned subsidiary company Arawata Assets in 2011 for $7.5 million and, despite a booming property market over the next six years, the property was on-sold to Hisco's wife Deborah Veronica Walsh in July 2017 for $6.9m.
As of July 1, 2017 the property at 269 St Heliers Bay Rd had a Rating Valuation of $10.75m, according to Terranet.
Terry Baucher, principle of specialist tax advisory service Baucher Consulting, said the fact the property appeared to have been sold below market value after renovation raised potential tax issues.
"From an income perspective is it income for him [David Hisco] or is it going to be subject to fringe benefit tax?
"At first sight someone somewhere has a tax issue potentially," he said.
If it was seen as a direct income to the Hisco's they could be liable to pay withholding tax on the gain at 33 per cent.
Baucher said fringe benefit tax was the least likely of the three possible taxes it could be liable to trigger as there were specific rules around that.
Fringe benefit tax can be up to 49.25 per cent of the attributed benefit.
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Baucher said it was more likely it could be deemed to be a transfer of value to an associated person.
He said the deal was likely to have sparked the interest of the tax department.
"Inland Revenue will almost certainly be watching with interest."
If it was being looked at Baucher said it would be handled by the IRD's large enterprises unit - a specific unit tasked with looking at big business and their tax obligations as well as those of their executives.
An ANZ spokesman said: "We took tax advice at the time and have made all disclosures over David's employment arrangements that we are legally obliged to.
"This remains an employment matter, and while we've been open about the circumstances of David's departure from ANZ, it isn't appropriate to discuss his personal employment arrangements in any further detail."
Asked whether the tax department was looking into the transaction a spokeswoman for the Inland Revenue said it could not comment on anyone's tax affairs, under Section 18 of the Tax Administration Act.
"I can't confirm or deny anything," she said.