BRISBANE businessman Yii Ann Hii (pictured) might have a knighthood from the Queen, but that won’t stop the taxman coming after him.
In the Supreme Court last month, the Australian Taxation Office was granted an “enforcement warrant” giving it a year to “seize and sell” Sir Yii Ann’s vacant land on Brisbane’s southern fringe.
The ATO was forced to go to court to get the warrant to sell the 332ha property at Lyons, midway between Ipswich and Beaudesert, after Sir Yii Ann failed to pay a single cent of a $60 million bill for evading tax.
The land, valued at $1.3 million last year, is part-owned by another investor.
The 56-year-old, who was knighted in 2007 for his services to the timber-felling industry in Papua New Guinea, was ordered to pay $59,848,407 by the Supreme Court on 11 May last year but the court was told Sir Yii Ann hasn’t paid anything.
Sir Yii Ann now owes a further $4 million in interest and this grows by $13,000 every day.
Sir Yii Ann was found to have “avoided tax by evasion” between 2001 and 2009 by falsely claiming he wasn’t an Australian resident.
Sir Yii Ann’s wife Soo Hian Beh and five of his six children live in Christopher Skase’s former home in Hamilton (left), a $14 million mansion.
He also owns a fleet of luxury cars including a 2006 Lamborghini Murcielago and a 2006 Rolls Royce Phantom, but these have been used as security to pay his lawyers.
He owns a $31 million house in Singapore and other assets worth $1.8 million in Malaysia, the Philippines and Hong Kong but the ATO cannot touch overseas assets.
He told the Supreme Court last year his net worth including both Australian and overseas assets was “minus $14 million”, but he told the Federal Court in February this year that his Australian net worth was $1 million.
Sir Yii Ann has not returned to Australia since the tax audit in 2009. His permanent residency visa has expired.