Exiled billionaire Huang Xiangmo brands Australian Tax Office a 'despicable tool of political persecution'

Exiled billionaire Huang Xiangmo brands Australian Tax Office a 'despicable tool of political persecution'
Exiled billionaire Huang Xiangmo brands Australian Tax Office a 'despicable tool of political persecution'

The exiled Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo has accused the Australian Tax Office of being a "political weapon" that was surrendering to "unknown dark forces".

He said the Tax Office had been "reduced to a despicable tool of political persecution".

He questioned whether "Australian politicians and media outlets who bank on telling tales about China and the Chinese [are] any different from the White Supremacists or the McCarthyites".

The property developer is fighting a $140 million tax bill by resisting a court order to disclose his worldwide assets which the ATO seeks to freeze.

The Tax Office is seeking to bankrupt the Chinese billionaire.

The statement was published on his personal website.

Huang, a central figure in the ICAC's ongoing inquiry into the alleged Aldi plastic bag NSW Labor donations, has resided in Hong Kong since his Australian permanent residency visa was cancelled last December.

"Before my visa was unfairly revoked by ASIO, [the] ATO had not once brought up the large amount of tax payable as alleged in the case," Huang said.

"By taking advantage of its tax collection power for the purpose of political character assassination and persecution, the ATO has turned into a 'political weapon'."

Huang said accusations of him of being a Chinese "agent of influence" came without "even a hair of evidence for such allegation".

The bulk of the tax bill was attributed to the sale of a mansion in Hong Kong, which was said to give rise to a capital gains tax liability.

On Monday, the Federal Court continued the freezing order.

It ordered Mr Huang to disclose his worldwide assets within 21 days.

The ICAC is investigating allegations Huang made a $100,000 cash donation to the NSW Labor Party in 2015.

Huang was banned from making political donations in NSW under laws targeting property developers.

He has declined to give evidence by video to the ICAC but denied making the donation.

Huang said he had an "impeccable" tax record in Australia and had "never ... had any history of default anywhere, let alone any record of tax evasion".

Earlier this year two Australian Chinese-language papers devoted their front pages to an open letter backing exiled billionaire property developer after his permanent residency was cancelled for reasons including character grounds in early February.

It says the Morrison government's decision to cancel Huang's residency was outrageous and calls for it to be overturned.

The letter appears to be a paid ad.

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tax Ato

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