bottom of the harbour
From the metaphor of money hidden in an inaccessible place. Also, allegedly, incriminating records were in some cases disposed of by dumping them in Sydney Harbour.
- (Australia, attributive) A tax avoidance scheme from the 1970s.
1982 June 5, Sydney Morning Herald, page 13:
- 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.
- 1983, Rob Chalmers, Jenny Hutchison, Don Whitington, Inside Canberra: A Guide to Australian Federal Politics, page 121,
- John Howard argued that he was a relatively new Treasurer in 1978 when he was first given some advice from Treasury officials concerning the bottom-of-the-harbour tax schemes.
- 1985, Australian House of Representatives, House of Representatives weekly Hansard, Issue 18, page 2021,
- Finally, the Leader of the Opposition was caught out for a third time by the 1984 report of the bottom of the harbour Special Prosecutor, Robert Gyles, who sheeted home the responsibility in this way.
- 2010, John Howard, Lazarus Rising: A Personal and Political Autobiography, unnumbered page,
- The bottom-of-the-harbour scheme involved a practice which effectively denuded a company of any assets, meaning it was unable to meet its tax obligations. […] With bottom-of-the-harbour schemes the legal obligation remained, but the company had no assets with which to meet the obligation.