Australian tax body aware of Appleby ‘issue’
The Australian Taxation Office is aware investigative journalists are scrutinising the clients of Appleby, which has offices in Bermuda, after the law firm revealed that its some of its data was “compromised” in a cyberattack last year.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Mark Konza, the ATO's deputy commissioner, said: “We have been aware of an issue regarding this firm.
“We understand that it's in regard to services provided by that law firm to taxpayers.
“ ... From the bare details that we have, that it might be similar to the Panama Papers where tax structuring has been exposed.”
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has approached Appleby with allegations of wrongdoing, which the firm strongly denies.
The ICIJ released more than 11 million documents obtained from law firm Mossack Fonseca last year in what became known as the “Panama Papers”.
Tax authorities in Australia identified 1,200 Australians of interest from that data horde and have raised about $50 million worth of liabilities from this investigation, the Herald reported.