TNB slapped with RM1.8b tax bill

by FARA AISYAH/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

TENAGA Nasional Bhd (TNB) was served with a RM1.81 billion tax bill by the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRB) on Monday.

The notice of additional assessment is for the year 2018, the utility company said in an exchange filing yesterday.

“This notice is similar in nature with notices received in the past years, which are presently pending in court and TNB has obtained an interim stay order against the payment of the disputed taxes.

“Based on the legal advice obtained from our tax solicitors, TNB is of the view that it has a good basis in law to contend that the

assessments were erroneously raised by the IRB. Accordingly and as before, TNB will be appealing against the said notice the soonest,” it noted.

In November last year, TNB was served with a tax bill totalling RM3.98 billion by the IRB, covering the assessment years of 2015, 2016 and 2017.

It was said to owe RM1.43 billion for 2015, RM1.24 billion for 2016 and RM1.3 billion for 2017, according to the notices sent to the utility giant.

The group lost RM3.64 billion in market capitalisation within two days of announcing the RM4 billion tax bill.

A month later, the High Court granted the group an interim stay of its tax bill from the IRB, until the hearing of the leave application on April 2, 2020.

The assessment served on TNB came shortly after the company posted a 140% year-on-year jump in net profit to RM1.2 billion for its third quarter ended Sept 30, 2019, largely helped by lower operating expenses and fuel cost incurred.

TNB also received additional assessment notices for 2013 and 2014 from the tax authority on Nov 23, 2015, for a sum of RM985.57 million and RM1.08 billion respectively.

Shares of TNB closed 1.1% or 12 sen higher at RM11.44 yesterday, valuing the firm at RM65.26 billion.