'Meeting of the minds' spares Tinkler from Tax Office action
The embattled coal baron Nathan Tinkler has reached an in-principle settlement with the Australian Tax Office over debts owed by several of his companies.
A lawyer for the Deputy Commissioner for Taxation told the Federal Court on Friday that there had been a "meeting of the minds" between Mr Tinkler and the Tax Office.
But the court also heard the parties wanted more time to settle.
It comes just weeks after insolvent trading proceedings began against Mr Tinkler over a failed share placement scheme worth $28.4 million.
Liquidators launched the legal action after Mr Tinkler allegedly allowed one of his companies to trade while insolvent last year, and for breaching directors' duties.
On Friday, on an unrelated matter, the Federal Court heard "a proposal had been accepted" by the Tax Office and Mr Tinkler concerning debts owed by four of his companies.
The companies in question are Newcastle Jets Football Operations, Hunter Valley Sports Group, Buildev Aviation and Buildev Development (NSW). Hunter Valley Sports Group owns the Newcastle Jets Football Club and the Newcastle Knights rugby league team. Earlier this year, Buildev Group and four related companies were reported to owe the Tax Office more than $600,000.
Mr Tinkler was also originally being pursued over a large debt owed to the Tax Office by the Hunter Valley Sports Group. But in April, Tax Office lawyers told a court there were no more debts owed by Buildev Group, Buildev Development (Queensland) and BD (Qld) Project G075, though two of those cases were not dismissed because another creditor wanted to be substituted.
However, on Friday that substituted creditor agreed to settle with Mr Tinkler on matters involving Buildev Group and BD (Qld) Project G075.
The judge ordered that both those proceedings be dismissed with parties to pay their own costs.
Mr Tinkler is facing insolvent trading proceedings after a decision by the NSW Supreme Court to approve a funding deal between Blackwood Corp and the liquidators of Mulsanne Resources - one of his failed companies - after Mulsanne failed to buy $28.4 million of Blackwood shares last year, despite having agreed to do so.