This excerpt taken from the SYT 20-F filed Mar 1, 2006.
Syngenta is also subject to certain tax claims pending before the judiciary. Significant cases are described below.
In 1996, the Brazilian Federal Tax Treasury drew Novartis Brazilian legal entity into administrative proceedings, regarding the import tax classification of the active ingredient Atrazine. The issue is whether, under applicable law, Atrazine will qualify as a raw material (Syngentas position) or as intermediate chemicals (the Federal Inspections position). So far there have been 17 administrative rulings against Syngenta. Currently, 16 cases are on appeal before the judiciary. In aggregate, the maximum contingency in the event of an unfavorable outcome for Syngenta could amount to approximately BRL 24.5 million, a sum corresponding to approximately US$8.5 million currently. There are no decisions in the first level Court.
In the tax assessment of Ciba Geigy Australia Limited (a legal entity today owned by Syngenta) the Australian Tax Authorities (ATO) have made net margin adjustments and increased the legal entitys tax base for the years 1991 - 1996. Syngenta Crop Protection Pty Ltd (formerly named Ciba Geigy Australia Limited) filed objections against this tax assessment on July 5, 2004 with the Federal Court of Australia. On November 9, 2005, following detailed submissions by counsel for the parties, oral judgement was delivered dismissing the Syngenta notice of motion for particulars and discovery of the exercise of the Commissioners discretions under section 136AD and Article 9 of the double tax agreements. Syngenta filed a leave to appeal against this decision and the Federal Court will deal with the appeal on May 9, 2006.