ATO prosecutions

What has the ATO been doing?


The ATO has publicised a number of successful prosecutions for tax fraud, presumably to remind taxpayers that dishonesty does not pay.

In one case, a concreter from New South Wales was fined for making false and misleading statements.

The concreter originally lodged his 2017 income tax return via a tax agent, but he lodged an amendment via myGov four months later. In the amendment, he falsely claimed he had worked for a second employer, where he received wages and had tax withheld. He also reported additional amounts for work-related expenses and the cost of managing tax affairs.

The false claims would have given the concreter a $7,974 refund, but an ATO audit revealed the truth.

He was fined $2,000 and ordered to pay a further $5,000 directly to the ATO. He was also placed on a 2-year good behaviour bond.

In another case, a Queensland bricklayer was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in jail for evading nearly $100,000 in tax.

Over the course of a year, the bricklayer reported sales of $85,359 in his quarterly business activity statements (BAS). But an audit found he had actually received more than 4 times this amount, resulting in a GST shortfall of $26,570.

Data from the taxable payments reporting scheme (TPRS) also showed that he had quoted the ABN of his bricklaying trust to a number of entities, despite telling ATO officers it was no longer trading.

In addition to this, the bricklayer understated income on his income tax return, which caused a tax shortfall of $70,441.

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