478 Prosecutions: do the crime, face the consequences says ATO

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Acting Tax Commissioner Jennie Granger today reminded the community that the ATO is continuing its focus on those who do the wrong thing.

“Those who are caught face extremely serious penalties including criminal conviction, significant fines and imprisonment,” Ms Granger said.

“Even if penalties do not include jail time a criminal conviction will mean a permanent criminal record. As well as disqualifying you from many kinds of employment this can impact on other areas of your life including restricting travel to some countries.

“For the quarter 1 July to 30 September 356 people and 122 companies were prosecuted and convicted of taxation and superannuation offences. During this period twelve people received custodial sentences, ranging from two months to five years.

“Refund fraud continues to be a focus for us. We utilise leading technology, sophisticated national and international networks and community intelligence to catch those who are doing the wrong thing.

“It is not a matter of if, but when we find you. Ask yourself: is doing the wrong thing really worth the risk?”

Recently a Sydney man with a background in commerce was sentenced to five years jail for deliberately lodging 41 false income tax returns totalling $180,000.

However it doesn’t have to be large scale to attract our attention.

Earlier this year, a Sydney fencing contractor who made false statements in his business activity statements was fined $18,000 and ordered to pay an additional $17,319 to the Commissioner.

“Providing false or misleading information to the ATO is a criminal offence. If you do the crime, you will face the consequences; and they can be significant,” Ms Granger said.

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