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Tuesday, 2 December 2003
Page: 23528

Mr Murphy asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 6 March 2003:

(1) Is he aware of the case of Mr Wayne Baffsky, a barrister practising criminal law, who did not lodge income tax returns during 1998 or 1999 and was subsequently bankrupted by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in February 2000 owing $442,000.

(2) Is he aware that Mr Baffsky continues to drive a $70,000 red Mustang motor-vehicle.

(3) What is the total amount of tax to date that the ATO has forgone in relation to the case of Mr Baffsky.

(4) Have Mr Baffsky's services ever been retained by the Commonwealth; if so, on how many occasions, for what periods of time and for what purposes.

Mr Costello (Treasurer) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) to (3) The independent Commissioner of Taxation has responsibility for administering the taxation laws and collecting the revenue. He assures me that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is doing all it can to recover unpaid tax from Mr Baffsky in the course of bankruptcy proceedings.

(4) The Commissioner further advised me that neither the ATO nor the Australian Government Solicitor has any record of retaining Mr Baffsky's services.