Two Christian siblings in Tasmania tried to use God to escape paying income tax. It didn't work.
The two siblings have been ordered to pay more than $2.4 million in taxes to the Australian Taxation Office.
They had previously refused to pay by arguing it goes against God's word.
Rembertus Cornelis Beerepoot and Fanny Alida Beerepoot faced Hobart Supreme Court this week owing almost $930,000 in income tax and other accrued charges.
They argued taxation is a form of ownership by the government and against God's will.
"Ownership is vested in almighty God and it's him we serve," the brother said. "The Commonwealth of Australia has not been granted the power of ownership because that is vested in almighty God."
Associate Justice Stephen Holt asked the siblings to find a piece of scripture stating you don't have to pay tax.
"If you can't find me a passage ... that says 'thou shall not pay tax' then, you see, I have difficulty finding a starting point," he said.
The judge referenced a Bible passage he found in a Google search in which Jesus tells followers to pay a tax to Caesar and "give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's".
With that, he ordered the siblings to pay more than $2.4 million in taxes, covering their income tax debt as well as administrative costs and other charges.
In 2017, the pair had their property at Mole Creek, in northern Tasmania, auctioned by the council after refusing to pay more than $3,000 worth of rates because they said the land belonged to God.
"We believe that our heavenly father is sovereign and that he reigns today, thus we worship him and him alone so that his will is established on the earth," they wrote in a letter to council.
"You are asking us to bow down to a false god which is something we cannot do."
The house was sold to a mystery bidder for $120,000.