News State New South Wales ‘The ATO ruined my life’: man takes on tax office

‘The ATO ruined my life’: man takes on tax office

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A Sydney man has accused the Australian Tax Office (ATO) of ruining his life after he spent the past eight years fighting a botched tax bill.

Former architect Gary Kurzer is suing the Tax Office for $5.8 million in damages, claiming that an incorrect tax bill for $200,000 has cost him his business, marriage and health.

The eight-year legal dispute will come to an end in front of a Federal Court in September, with Mr Kurzer suing the Tax Office for alleged negligence, according to a Fairfax report.

The legal defence for the Tax Office says that Mr Kurzer’s case is weak and that he is unable to prove the Tax Office owed him a duty of care.

The ATO has come under increased scrutiny recently after a report published last week found that 35 per cent of tax penalties were unfairly imposed.

It took Mr Kurzer five years of action in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for the ATO to concede that his bill was just $8554, not $200,000.

Mr Kurzer told Fairfax that a court victory would inspire thousands of Australians battling what they believe are unfair Tax Office decisions.

“The Tax Office is allowed to collect what it is entitled to collect,” said Mr Kurzer.

“It is not entitled to harass, to bully, to lie, to cheat, to force people into these situations when they don’t owe the money.”