Court dismisses ATO freeze on luxury home, Rolls and Aston Martin

The Federal Court has dismissed an order that froze more than $103 million in assets, including a luxury Brighton home, Rolls Royce and Aston Martin, belonging to Chinese businesswoman and property developer Min Wang.

The Australian Taxation Office was granted the freezing order by Justice Jennifer Davies in October last year after it issued Ms Wang and her companies with a tax assessment totalling $103,135,655.93 for 2015 and 2016.

Min Wang started developing property in Australia in 2010.
Min Wang started developing property in Australia in 2010.Credit:Jesse Marlow

The frozen assets also included a $106 million loan from a family trust.

Ms Wang leads Hengyi, the Melbourne arm of Chinese developer Shandong Hengyi Group, which is developing 1039 apartments in the 72-storey Swanston Central tower and another residential block in Coventry Street, Southbank.


The company is also developing the Pacifica, New Zealand’s highest residential tower in Auckland.

The court-ordered freeze, made October 30, was amended on November 22 and amended again on June 29 and July 20 before proceedings were dismissed by Justice Davies.

No order of costs was made against Ms Wang or the five companies listed as respondents in the case.

“Hengyi is pleased that the orders and notices have been removed and that it can now progress its case with the ATO with certainty while continuing to operate as normal,” general manager Simon Manley said.

The court documents do not show if the tax office was successful in negotiating a settlement, but it’s believed a confidential agreement was reached allowing Ms Wang to pursue her objections in court.

“The ATO cannot comment on the tax affairs of any individual or entity due to our obligations of confidentiality under the law,” a spokeswoman said.

According to last year’s Federal Court judgment, Ms Wang started developing property in Australia in 2010.

After four years here, Ms Wang, her children and husband Liang Chen were granted permanent business visas, but Mr Chen continues to live in China, where he runs the Shandong business.

“There are a number of reasons for being satisfied that there is a real risk of dissipation of assets,” the judgement said.

The tax liability was “very significant” and Ms Wang has “both the means and the motive to remove assets,” it stated.

The judgement said there was evidence Ms Wang made false statements about her Chinese assets in her income tax returns, not revealing holdings of shares in several Chinese development and investment firms.

“There is also evidence that Ms Wang gave misleading information to the ATO concerning the funding of the purchase and development of the property at 199 William Street, Melbourne by Hengyi Australia,” it said.

Hengyi’s redevelopment of 199 William was completed in 2014.

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