02 Feb No escape for tax cheats
A word from the ATO:
Two thousand individuals and companies were successfully prosecuted for fraud, tax and superannuation offences in the 2011-12 financial year.
“Tax cheats are trying to get an unfair advantage, adding to the burden on the majority of people who do the right thing and meet their tax obligations,” said Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo.
“Our tax and superannuation systems underpin the standard of living we enjoy in Australia and the people who attempt to defraud that system are ultimately stealing from the rest of us.”
Thirty-nine people were prosecuted for tax-related offences last financial year. Thirty-seven custodial sentences were handed down by the courts, ranging from fully suspended to nine years imprisonment. These included eight individuals who received custodial sentences under Project Wickenby.
Offences included attempting to hide income and assets overseas and individuals using stolen identities to submit false business activity statements.
There were also 1,447 individuals and 514 companies successfully prosecuted for taxation offences, such as failing to lodge returns and making false and misleading statements on tax returns and activity statements. Court-imposed sanctions included reparation orders, fines and other penalties.
“Our increasingly sophisticated information matching capabilities enable us to help protect honest taxpayers and protect the overall integrity of the tax and superannuation system,” said Mr D’Ascenzo.
“We compare tax records with more than 600 million transactions reported to us each year from financial institutions and other organisations, both in Australia and overseas, to gain a very detailed picture of people’s financial dealings.
“The message is clear. If you attempt to cheat the honest taxpayer community you will be found out and brought to justice.”