The Australian Tax Office (“ATO”) appears to be aggressively opposing a South African emigre’s appeal against his A$21 million income tax assessments. The case of Mark Krok v Commissioner of Taxation NSD572/2013 is listed for a Directions Hearing on 7 November in Australia’s Federal Court.
A report by Susannah Moran in today’s Australian newspaper – see http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/ato-sets-sights-on-s-african-millions/story-e6frg8zx-1226750019299 – says that “The ATO has accused Mr. Krok of tax evasion and fraud, claiming he understated his income and failed to declare capital gains made on share sales during the six years he lived in Australia.”
It is suggested that in a 5-day hiatus between leaving South Africa and arriving in Australia, Mr Krok distributed all the assets of a trust established by his father and entered into an arrangement involving a BVI company owned by a Liechtenstein Foundation.
This case will be closely watched by international tax planners and their clients, particularly since the ATO apparently sought and received relevant from the South African Revenue Service in the course of their audit investigation.