A socialite has won her High Court battle to hold onto her mansion after the Australian Taxation Office tried to snap it up to settle her ex-husband’s $9.34m debt.
The Federal Court had initially ruled lifestyle blogger Bernadette Bosanac and entrepreneur Vlado Bosanac equally owned the Dalkeith home in Perth’s ritzy western suburbs.
But Ms Bosanac took her case to the High Court, which ruled this week that Mr Bosanac’s role in getting a loan was a gift and noted his name was never on the title.
The mansion was purchased in 2006 for $4.5m, with a deposit of $250,000 from an existing joint loan account in the couple’s names.
“The disparity in wealth and employment makes it unlikely that Ms Bosanac could have obtained or serviced the loans on her own,” the High Court ruled.
“The clear inference is that the parties’ objective intention was that Mr Bosanac was doing no more than facilitating Ms Bosanac’s acquisition of the Dalkeith property by assisting in paying the deposit and entering into the joint loans for the purpose of funding the purchase.”
Although the couple separated in 2012 or 2013, they continued living together until September 2015.
Mr Bosanac heads technology company Advanced Human Imaging and made millions of dollars from the fitness app Myfiziq.
The ATO began chasing him several years ago for more than $9.34m in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest between 2005 and 2013.
Ms Bosanac, who runs a spray tan business, was initially ordered to pay a tax debt of $5.7m, but that was amended to less than $250,000 following her formal objection.
“There was no suggestion in this court, or in the courts below, that the Dalkeith property was registered in Ms Bosanac’s name for the purpose of Mr Bosanac avoiding creditors,” the High Court noted.