Sony Australia is in a dispute with the Australian Taxation Office over $53 million AUD, which comes from five years of tax adjustments (back taxes owed and penalties) that the company believes are in error. A Sony Computer Entertainment Australia spokesperson confirmed the news with GameSpot, but added that its PlayStation business in Australia has not been affected by it. Sony is appealing the assessment.
"The Australian Tax Office (ATO) issued assessments against Sony Australia has no impact on the Sony Computer Entertainment Australia Pty Ltd business. Sony Computer Entertainment Australia is a totally separate legal entity," a spokesperson told GameSpot.
The Australian Taxation Office had no comment because it can't publicly talk about ongoing cases due to privacy laws.
While specifics of the situation are unclear, it is believed that this dispute arose out of the ATO's "increasing scrutiny of multinational organizations and the distribution of local earnings outside of Australian borders," according to GameSpot.
Financial disclosures released by Sony show that the company appealed several amended assessments issued by the tax body in May, linked to five years of returns, from 2005 to 2008, and 2010. The total amount of additional tax is reportedly $32.7 million AUD, with interest of $17.7 million AUD, and penalties totaling $3.3 million AUD.
We'll have more information on this story as it develops.