Foster's Group has voiced its objections to a tax demand from the Australian authorities.

The drinks company said today (27 June) that it has been hit by a bill of A$850.7m (US$716m) by the Australian Commissioner of Taxation. The tax assessment, which Foster's believe should actually hit a maximum of A$545.7, is expected at group headquarters at the end of this month.

The bill relates to the utilisation of tax losses by Foster's when funding the Elders Finance Group (EFG) in the 1980s and 1990s. The availability of tax losses associated with the funding of EFG is currently the subject of Federal Court proceedings initiated by Foster's.

The Commissioner of Taxation will issue the higher bill in order to cover all possible alternative positions that may be argued in the court proceedings.

"Foster's intends to object to the assessments," the company said. "Foster's remains confident of the position it has adopted and intends to defend vigorously the deduction claims."