Over 400 individuals and companies convicted for tax and super offences
In the last quarter, 465 individuals and companies were convicted for tax and superannuation criminal offences resulting in over $1.56 million in fines and penalties according to figures released by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
"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.
From 1 July to 30 September 2012:
- 13 people were convicted of serious tax and superannuation related criminal offences, including two prosecuted under Project Wickenby;
- 452 taxpayers were convicted of deliberately evading their tax and superannuation obligations, including 440 taxpayers who failed to lodge tax returns and activity statements despite reminders and notices demanding lodgement.