bottom of the harbour

bottom of the harbour
A tax avoidance scheme. In the late 1970s a large number of bottom of the harbour schemes were operating in corporate Australia. The schemes involved buying a company with a large tax liability, converting the assets to cash, and then 'hiding' the company by, for example, selling it to a fictitious buyer. Thus the company (and often its records) vanished completely-figuratively sent to the 'bottom of the harbour' (originally Sydney Harbour)-with an unpaid tax bill.

Australian idioms. 2014.

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  • bottom-of-the-harbour — /ˌbɒtəm əv ðə ˈhabə/ (say .botuhm uhv dhuh hahbuh) adjective of or relating to a bottom of the harbour scheme. Also, bottom of the harbor …  

  • bottom of the harbour — noun A tax avoidance scheme from the 1970s. 1982: The bottom of the harbour scheme was so named because a company once stripped of its assets, was dumped and, like a body in a cement suit, sank never to be seen again.<! the commas here look… …   Wiktionary

  • Bottom of the harbour tax avoidance — was a form of tax avoidance used in Australia in the 1970s. Legislation (below) made it a criminal offence in 1980. The practice came to symbolise the worst of variously contrived tax strategies from those times. In its 1986/87 annual report, the …   Wikipedia

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