Nissan Motor Co. has been ordered to pay some ¥250 million ($2.4 million) in tax penalties in connection with alleged misuse of funds by the Japanese automaker while managed by former boss Carlos Ghosn, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.
Taxation authorities in Japan have concluded that Nissan failed to declare around ¥1 billion in taxable income over five business years through March 2019, with the company given around ¥250 million in tax penalties, 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 in taxable income over 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 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 illicitly in addition to his remuneration.
According to the sources, taxation authorities are apparently refusing to let Nissan include some of those expenses — such as 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 prosecutors in Japan 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.
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