Almost 500 people were convicted for Tax Fraud and Superannuation Criminal Offences in the September quarter, resulting in $1.56 million in fines and penalties, according to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Project Wickenby resulted in two prosecutions, and there were 13 prosecutions in total for serious tax and superannuation-related criminal offences. There were a further 452 taxpayers convicted for deliberately evading tax and super obligations, of whom 440 failed to lodge tax returns and activity statements despite repeated notices, according to the ATO, reports Chris Kennedy, Money Management READ MORE
“The ATO pursues tax cheats to the full extent of the law to ensure people who pay their fair share of tax are not disadvantaged,” Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo said.
“The courts view these matters seriously with seven custodial sentences handed down this quarter, as well as a suspended jail sentence, good behaviour bonds and community service orders.”
“A record jail term of nine years was handed to Vanuatu based accountant Robert Agius for his role in promoting a tax minimisation scheme. He was the twenty-eighth person to be sentenced under Project Wickenby.”
“We don’t just prosecute complicated fraud schemes – this past quarter saw a range of offences including not lodging tax forms and making false and misleading statements.” Mr D’Ascenzo said.