ERJ staff report (TP)
Melbourne, Australia − Former tire king Bob Jane has been slugged with an A$1m (€647,900) tax bill that could push the beleaguered businessman into bankruptcy, reported Chris Vedelago for The Age.
The Tax Office is alleging that Bob Jane − who once controlled an empire worth A$100m (€64.7m) but now claims to be nearly broke − has been underpaying his income taxes since the mid-1990s.
It's the latest in a series of financial setbacks for the champion race car driver-turned-entrepreneur, who lost control of the Bob Jane T-Marts empire in 2011 to his son, Rodney.
Bob Jane's bid to rebuild his fortune through a new chain of competing tire businesses was also recently frustrated after a court banned him from using the family name to promote the venture.
In a new blow, the Australian Taxation Office is now suing Bob Jane in a bid to recover A$1.08m (€700,000) in taxes, fines and penalty interest.
A Tax Office investigation found that the 83-year-old had filed ''incorrect'' returns for five years in the mid-1990s and again in 2010.
The recovery action in the Supreme Court was launched after he allegedly ignored repeated notices sent to his mansion in Diggers Rest.
The Jane family have spent years fighting a bitter battle over the assets and branding of the 48-year-old Bob Jane business empire, which is believed to have been worth A$100m (€64.7m) at one stage.
A series of lawsuits have pitted father against son since Bob Jane stood down as chairman and director of the Bob Jane Corporation in 2011.
The dispute has been fuelled by Bob Jane's allegations that Rodney Jane took advantage of him after he suffered a stroke in 2006.
A recent Federal Court decision has also forced Bob Jane to stop using the family's name in rival tire businesses he has set up in a bid to rebuild his fortune.
There have also been sensational claims over extravagant spending and abuse levelled at Bob Jane's wife, Laree, during divorce proceedings.
Bob Jane, who recently claimed to have only A$40 (€25.9) in the bank, could not be reached for comment.
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Full story from The Age