The Beerepoot family, who owed $2.32 million in unpaid tax income, will close the doors of their Melita Honey Farm next week because the Australian Tax Office 'walks in open defiance to the almighty god'.
The devout Christians were ordered by the Supreme Court to pay $2.32 million to the ATO in July 2019 after failing to pay income tax for years at the business because it went against their religious beliefs.
In a statement on the business's website the family said the closure on June 30 was solely because of the ATO's defiance of God and not because of the COVID-19 pandemic or other legal action.
"The only reason why we are closing is because the authorities (which include the government, the judiciary and the Australian Taxation Office [ATO]) walk in open defiance to the almighty God, and they have made demands upon us which will require us to do the same.
"By holding to these positions, both the ATO and the Supreme Court declare that the law of man, or legislated law, is of higher authority to the law of God," they said.
"As Christians we reject this position and can not support this ideology.
"Whilst this has not been an easy decision to take, and it is one that we will be processing for quite some time, we do know that this is the right decision."
In addition to the unpaid income taxes, the family refused to pay rates on their three properties for seven years, owing $9332 in unpaid rates, before the Meander Valley Council auctioned off their home in 2017.
The family's honey farm and shop were saved by an anonymous donor who paid the rates.
However mayor Wayne Johnston said the council had opened fresh legal action against them, as they owed the council more money in unpaid rates.
He said he could not recall the amount owed.
"We were taking legal proceedings against them as well for unpaid rates, I don't know if that's finished yet.
"The loss of any business in any community is a blow, it's disappointing that the family have decided to go down the path that they have," he said.
"It will effect obviously the amount of people who potentially stop in Chudleigh but there may well be other businesses who start up. It will be terrible to lose what had grown into an icon there."
Mr Johnston said the council had been in talks about what to do in the town moving forward.
The story ATO's 'defiance' of God closes iconic store's doors first appeared on The Examiner.