Telco Boss In Tax Battle
The ATO says it will appeal after the Federal Court quashed its attempts to have businessman Garry John Donoghue pay the multi-million dollar stipend.
Donoghue, 58, was a founder and former MD of Plus SMS, but quit the company’s board in 2006. At one point Plus SMS was estimated to be worth about NZ$250 million.
Donoghue, now based in London, took the case to the Federal Court, saying his legal adviser, Simeon Moore, had passed on his file to the ATO, after claiming he had not been paid.
The court heard that Moore had told Donoghue: “Garry, if you don’t pay me and my family, I will have no hesitation in giving the ATO everything I have on you. You should be very worried.”
The court found the ATO’s claim was invalid because it was based on information under legal professional privilege to which the ATO had no right.