13/01/2017 - 15:19

Speed racers turn to crowdfunding in tax fight

13/01/2017 - 15:19

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A Perth team hoping to break a land speed world record has turned to crowdfunding to raise $50,000 to avoid a potential liquidation caused by a fight with the Australian Taxation Office, and is 20 per cent of the way to its target.

Aussie Invader hopes the vehicle will hit the 1,000 mile per hour mark.

A Perth team hoping to break a land speed world record has turned to crowdfunding to raise $50,000 to avoid a potential liquidation caused by a fight with the Australian Taxation Office, and is 20 per cent of the way to its target.

Aussie Invader (incorporated as Landspeed Invader) hit a major speed bump in November when the tax office called in liquidators to chase $200,000 it said the company had erroneously received as a research and development tax credit, including interest.

With the vast majority of that cash now tied up in a specialised vehicle designed to break the record, the team, which is led by perennial speed racing player Rosco McGlashan, turned to crowdfunding.

About $7,700 has been raised through an account on crowdfunding site Gofundme, while further money flowed via a donation page on the company’s website.

So far it has raised more than $10,000 of a $50,000 target in about a month, with nearly 100 people having donated through Gofundme.

Project promotion manager Mark Read told Business News said the team had only begun marketing the campaign around a week ago.

“Crowdfunding is ideally suited to this type of appeal and with its links to social media you can tap into like-minded supporters very easily and they can share with their friends and colleagues meaning the message/appeal gets out there very quickly and spreads fast,” he said.

“We are looking to raise about $50,000 to allow us to fight this decision and to have some cash to talk to the liquidator if appropriate.”

He said he hoped that Aussie Invader could find longer term sponsorship to help strengthen the project’s finances.

It comes after a long battle over the credit for the company, which claims it received the credit over two years.

But that was later reversed following an ATO audit, creating a year-long dispute.

If the company does overcome the tax barrier, there's one more they'll need to cross to achieve their dream -  the world land speed record of 763 miles per hour,  

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