Nissan slapped with more back taxes from Ghosn period

Kyodo News

Posted at Aug 20 2020 06:08 AM | Updated as of Aug 20 2020 06:10 AM

TOKYO - Nissan Motor Co. has been ordered to pay several hundreds of millions of yen in back taxes in connection with misuse of funds by the Japanese automaker under former boss Carlos Ghosn, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

Japanese taxation authorities concluded that Nissan failed to declare the taxable income in five business years through March 2019, the sources said.

With regard to Ghosn's alleged financial misconduct, the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau had already found last year that Nissan failed to declare about 150 million yen in taxable income in three business years through March 2014.

The taxation authorities proceeded to look into the accounting for a period beyond the three years, resulting in the latest finding.

In a report submitted to the Tokyo Stock Exchange in January, Nissan said that Ghosn inappropriately received about 140 million yen ($1.3 million) as stock-linked compensation. He also used a company business jet for private trips, costing a total of $4.4 million.

In an in-house report released last September, Nissan claimed that Ghosn made or attempted to make Nissan spend at least 15 billion yen illicitly in addition to his remuneration.

According to the sources, the taxation authorities are apparently refusing to let Nissan include some of these expenses -- those incurred by the company's headquarters -- as necessary business costs for tax deduction.

Ghosn, a former chairman of Nissan, was arrested in November 2018 by Japanese prosecutors for alleged financial misconduct. After being released from a detention facility in Tokyo, he jumped bail and fled to Lebanon in late 2019.

Ghosn has denied the allegations.