Texan oil heir cries poor over $28m Aussie tax bill
A high-flying property developer who belongs to one of Texas' most famous oil and property families is crying poor in a Brisbane court claiming he cant pay the Australian Taxation Office a $28 million bill.
Elton Matthew Hyder IV, and his company EMH IV Pty Ltd, have told the Federal Court that following the audit of his tax affairs the ATO failed to take into account that he couldn't offer them security through his property development company "without... endangering the viability of the business and the interests of banks and investors".
The 41-year-old argued that if he had paid the $28m by deadlines in June and September, he would have had to liquidate his property development assets "which would abolish those projects".
Mr Hyder and EMH IV Pty Ltd were slapped with notices of amended tax assessment in May demanding they pay tax and interest on income in the 2015 and 2016 financial years after an audit of his tax affairs.
The debt is growing by $2m each month it remains unpaid, court documents state.
He has been refused a deferment of the payment deadline, and has filed objections to some of the tax and interest claimed by the ATO, but none of these have been determined by the ATO.
Hyder, a father of three who lives in a palatial $10m home in Sydney's Bellevue Hill with his Australian wife Amy, claims in his court filing that he and his private company EMH IV, which is the trustee to his family trust, don't "have resources available to them to pay".
Hyder is a Princeton educated chief executive of property development company Legacy Property Holdings (LPH), which is building nearly 6000 apartments and houses in Sydney worth $3.5b, and has its offices in the prestigious MLC building in Sydney's CBD.
He claims in court documents that he cannot offer the ATO security over LPH's house and land assets because it "is impracticable and would seriously endanger the viability of those projects".
"Banks already have registered security, and then private investors have priority to returns," Hyder states in court documents.
"There is insufficient equity currently held in Legacy Holdings to support security in favour of the (ATO) for the amount of the disputed tax debts," Hyder states in court documents.
But Hyder states that if the ATO can wait two years until housing projects are sold, LPH funds "will become available".
Hyder has asked the Federal Court to quash or set aside the ATO's demands for payment of the amended tax assessments, or to at least defer the payment dates.
Hyder claims the ATO "failed to take into account" his "high level of cooperation" and offers to settle, during and after the ATO audit.
A large slice of the tax alleged to be owed relates to $18m paid from Hyder's company EMH IV Pty Ltd to another wholly-owned Hyder company Screaming Eagle Pty Ltd which was wound up in October 2016, court documents state.
Screaming Eagle was reinstated so it could pay $5.6m to the ATO in November last year, Mr Hyder states in his court filing.
Hyder, was born in Austin and raised in Fort Worth, Texas and first moved to Sydney in 2002 where he worked at a car dealership in Parramatta, then at Greg Norman's Medallist venture with Macquarie Bank.
He is the son of Elton M Hyder III who was elected to the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in 2011 and the family has the largest private art collection in the US.
Mr Hyder and his business have no apparent links to Brisbane but have chosen to file their case in the Federal Court, 1000km north of where he lives.
Because it relates to Federal tax laws the litigation can be fought in any state.
The case is due in court before Justice Andrew Greenwood on December 10.
Originally published as Texan oil heir cries poor over $28m ATO bill