Money Minute – May 31 2017 “Hogan Tax Brawl”
Ross Greenwood: Morning to everybody.
Of course, sad news that.
Now, Listen. The reputation of the Australian Tax Office is right now under close scrutiny.
This comes after allegations its top investigator Michael Cranston, a Deputy Commissioner, sought to help his son Adam, alleged to be a ringleader in one of the biggest tax fraud ever attempted in this nation’s history.
Now, the Tax Commissioner, Chris Jordan, fronted a Senate Estimates committee yesterday to assure people that the tax office is sound – but under questioning from National’s Senator John Williams, he raised another sorry chapter from tax office history.
He seemed to infer that actor, Paul Hogan, paid tens of millions of dollars to avoid criminal prosecution
Now, this came after an interview I did last week with Hogan’s lawyer, because it was Michael Cranston – the man now facing charges – who pursued Hogan.
Remember Hogan, who lived in the US, was banned from leaving Australia for a return to attend his mother’s funeral.
Jordan said the claims of Hogan that exonerated and paid little or no tax as a settlement were wrong.
Have a listen to this:
John Williams: In the settlement, did Hogan make payments the ATO, yes or no?
Chris Jordan: All I say is, is, in the general comment.
If people aren’t taking the court and charged, doesn’t mean substantial amounts of money weren’t paid to settle issues.
Ross: Now, it went further.
The sum of tens of millions of dollars was mentioned.
Now, this was under parliamentary privilege, remember – but it was a highly confidential settlement.
Now, last night I spoke with Paul Hogan on radio and he came out swinging.
Paul Hogan: So, I didn’t paid him off, and I certainly didn’t pay them tens of millions so that they would just like let me go without send me to jail… I’d have been quite happy to go to court
Ross: Another thing he said last night, he spent five years with the tax office looking up his quoit… they found nothing, he said.
Now, this is not the end of the matter.
As I understand it, this committee is now considering in secrecy and under parliamentary privilege, seeking that tax settlement to see who’s right – Hogan or Chris Jordan.
Now the Tax Commissioner, who has just been resigned for another five years, might find that his job rests on the outcome.
The Dow Jones down 50. The dollar 75.68 US cents.