“The tax officer found no wrongdoing by John Symond
, which I did try to tell [media representatives]…There was a fairly crucial part that [media] didn’t mention, which was that there has been absolutely no finding of dishonesty or tax evasion.”
News Ltd reports that it wasn’t until after the ATO audited Symond in early 2007 that he paid tax on the $58m as part of a settlement of the dispute in which he agreed to pay a $568,450 penalty and $5.7m in back taxes.
Gadens claims Symond was aware his senior finance executives and lawyers had arranged a restructure of Aussie Home Loans so he could “draw money from the new holding company tax-free".
Symond says he never would have agreed to the controversial financial structure if he’d been told he was at risk of a tax audit.
In documents filed with the court and published by News Ltd, Symond claims he told his executives, David Makinson and Rob Wannan, "I can't risk any problems with the ATO. The last thing I want is for the media or the public to think I'm some kind of tax cheat."
Symond's claim against Abbott Tout settled before trial on confidential terms. The hearing of the claim as against Gadens continues.