BlueScope makes offer in tax stoush

BlueScope Steel is willing to pay back only about $21 million in a stoush with the tax office which is claiming up to $140 million.

The Australian Taxation Office told the steel maker a month ago that it would issue it with amended assessments for 2007 and 2008 in relation to a sale and leaseback of equipment, which allowed BlueScope to raise $270 million.

BlueScope reinforced its opposition to the claim in a statement on Thursday.

It has produced an alternative amount of $21,215,719 - or 15 per cent of the total claimed - it said it would pay this month if the dispute is resolved, which is unlikely to occur that quickly.

It would vigorously defend the assessments and pursue all necessary avenues of objection, Bluescope said in a statement to the ASX.

"Resolution of this matter is likely to take some time," the company said.

The new assessments relate to the gain BlueScope made on the sale of the equipment and the ATO's denial of the deduction for lease rentals paid to the new owner of the equipment.

BlueScope has been struggling for some time along with the manufacturing industry generally in Australia, posting a $530 million loss in the first half of the 2011/12 financial year.

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