Stuart O’Grady is disputing claims by the Australian Taxation Office that he owes tax for four financial years dating back to 2004-2006, when he lived in France, according to Adelaide Now. The Saxo Bank rider is now a resident in Monaco.
O’Grady’s lawyer John Tucker appeared at the Federal Court in Adelaide to contest the claim, stating that it was “primarily a dispute of residency.” Tucker said that O’Grady had already paid tax on his earnings in France in the period in question.
Tucker also cited the Income Tax Assessment Act, which says contractors who work outside of Australia for six consecutive months are not liable to pay Australian tax and noted that O’Grady spends only one month each year in the country.
"It's enough to warrant argument but as I said to the judge it's not enough for everyone to be here," Tucker told Adelaide Now. "If he was taxable on his contract earnings as a cyclist in any way, having already been taxed in France, our next point would be that they'd be exempt."
O'Grady's lawyers will next week meet with representatives of the Deputy Tax Commissioner with a view to resolving the matter out of court. If such mediation is unsuccessful, the matter will return to court on October 21. Adelaide Now also reports that if a trial does take place, a judge would need to be brought in from outside the state of South Australia, as O’Grady’s father Brian is a driver for the Australian government and judiciary in the area.
O'Grady has been selected as part of the Australian team for the world road race championships in Australia on October 3.
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