21 Apr 15 Serious tax offences before the courts
The ATO advises that there are currently close to 100 serious criminal tax offence matters before the courts across the country. This is a result of government agencies working together to catch tax offenders and bring them to justice: ATO media release (20 April 2015).
Serious fraud offences that go before the courts include use of falsified invoices to claim deductions not entitled to, GST refund fraud, excise fraud (alcohol and fuel tax credit fraud), identity crime with suspected links to overseas organised crime groups, and income tax refund fraud.
So far this year, gaol sentences have included an eight year term of imprisonment (with five years to serve) for a man who claimed large false diesel fuel rebate claims.
To the end of March 2015, the ATO has also prosecuted 692 individuals and 212 companies for failing to lodge returns or keep records, making false and misleading statements, and not responding to ATO questions when required to do so. Fines, costs and reparation orders totalling more than $7.3 million have been imposed.
The ATO now has a prosecution list on its website demonstrating some of the serious criminal tax convictions.