The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will monitor donations given to Israel Folau’s church to assess whether the money is used to fund his expected legal challenge against Rugby Australia, the Courier Mail reports.
Rugby Australia announced the termination of Folau’s $4 million contract last week, accusing the rugby star of a “high-level breach of the professional player’s code of conduct” after he quoted 1 Corinthians 6:9 on his personal Instagram account.
According to the Courier Mail, there are “concerns” that supporters of Folau will channel money through his church in order to claim the donation as a tax deduction.
An ATO spokesperson told The Sunday Telegraph, “Endorsed income tax-exempt organisations are required at all times to comply with their governing rules and apply their income and assets solely for the purpose for which they are established.
“As a matter of course, the ATO actively considers and assesses information that suggests individuals or entities may not be acting in accordance with their obligations. Where, as a result of an assessment, the ATO forms a view that it is necessary to take appropriate action, we will do so.”
Reports suggest Folau’s legal fees could cost upwards of $1 million.