Murdoch sidesteps $40 mil duty bill

Some adroit financial maneuvering appears to have enabled Rupert Murdoch and his family to skip paying as much as $40 million in duty costs by relocating his family-owned company from Down Under to the balmy Caribbean.

However, Murdoch’s reps denied a report in the Australian Financial Review that the relocation also saved the Murdoch family just under a billion in capital gains taxes.

Karlholt, which holds the Murdoch family’s stake in News Corp., was listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange in October, just before News Corp. became an official U.S. resident. Previously named Karayem, Karlholt is valued at roughly $6.8 billion.

News Corp. acquired all 10 Karlholt shares Nov. 12. That sale would normally attract Australian duty costs of $40 million, but since both Bermuda and Australia are World Federation of Exchanges members, the transfer isn’t subject to duty costs.

The Financial Review, which competes with Murdoch’s the Australian newspaper, made sure to note that the cash-happy Murdoch recently inked a deal to purchase the Manhattan triplex formerly owned by Laurence S. Rockefeller for $44 million. Transaction is believed to be the highest in Gotham residential history.

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