The Federal Court has refused an interlocutory application by a taxpayer that the testimony of her and her husband in a tax case be heard by video-link or the testimony be taken by the Court on commission in Hong Kong pursuant to the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 and the Foreign Evidence Act 1994.

The Court said the proceeding in question is set down for a trial commencing on 29 January 2016. The Commissioner submits that the Proceedings were brought by him in an effort to recover part of an outstanding tax liability of Mrs Oswal totalling in excess of $186m and concerns real properties valued in excess of $45m.

The reason for the taxpayer and her husband applying for this relief is their apprehension that they would be the subject of Departure Prohibition Orders (DPOs) if they return to Australia to give evidence and the consequences, they asserted would follow, in relation to their children and, in the case of Mr Oswal, also in relation to his parents.

After reviewing the matter, the Court dismissed the interlocutory application.

(FCT v Oswal (No 5) [2015] FCA 1504, Federal Court, Gilmour J, 23 December 2015.)

[LTN 1, 5/1/16]