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18 Jul, 2019 14:00

Aussie family who told judge taxes are ‘against God’s will’ ordered to pay US$1.4mn bill

Aussie family who told judge taxes are ‘against God’s will’ ordered to pay US$1.4mn bill

A court in Australia didn’t buy a Christian family’s argument that paying taxes “goes against God’s will” and they now have to fork out US$1.4 million (AUS$2.3 million) to cover their enormous bill.

The Christian missionary family appeared in the Supreme Court of Tasmania on Wednesday over their failure to pay an estimated US$650,000 (AUS $930,000) in income tax and other charges in 2017, reports Australia's news network. 

Fanny Alida Beerepoot and her brother Rembertus Cornelis Beerepoot represented themselves in court and argued that the Commonwealth, of which Australia resides, was “within the jurisdiction of the law of the Almighty God,” which they referred to as the “supreme law of this land.”

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The Beerepoot family had their 2.44 hectare property seized in 2017 and sold for US$84,000 (AUS $120,000) by the local council for failing to pay US$2,100 (AUS$3,000) in property rates over a seven year period. The pair said that while they had paid income tax prior to 2011, they later realised paying tax was “against God’s will.”  

While handing down his decision Judge Stephen Holt said while he thinks the pair’s beliefs are genuine and not a tax-avoidance scheme, the family had failed to provide specific evidence from the Bible that supported their argument. 

If you can’t find me a passage ... that says ‘thou shall not pay tax’ then, you see, I have difficulty finding a starting point,” Holt said.

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In my view, the Bible effectively said that civil matters and the law of God operate in two different spheres,” he added.

The siblings were ordered to pay a combined fee of US$1.4 million (AUS $2.325 million) to cover income tax debt, administrative costs, interest charges and running balance account deficit debts.

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