False BAS claims leads to 30-month jail sentence

Category: Tax   Posted: 11,Feb 2019

On Friday, the Maroochydore District Court sentenced a tax payer to two and a half years in jail for GST fraud and ordered him to repay more than $130,000 that he fraudulently obtained. Between October 2008 and February 2013, the tax payer lodged eight BAS and fraudulently obtained $138,723 in GST refunds and attempted to obtain a further $962,772.
The tax payer claimed that he was the director of a motor vehicle and yacht business, an ATO audit found the company had no business activity, did not make any business sales or purchases, had not paid any GST and had no entitlement to receive the GST refunds claimed.
The court also found these claims to be entirely fraudulent. He also supplied false documents to the ATO to support his claims. The audit found that the tax payer used the money obtained to fund the purchase of items intended for personal use including property and motor vehicles.
The ATO audit was prolonged due to extensions sought by the tax payer during the audit period time to provide required information. ATO assistant commissioner Peter Vujanic said the court’s decision is a reminder of the seriousness of refusing to engage with the Tax Office.
“The ATO has sophisticated systems in place to detect deliberate attempts to commit fraud and we will rigorously pursue taxpayers who are found to be cheating the system through the court system,” said Mr Vujanic.
“This wasn’t an honest mistake by a small business owner trying to do the right thing – it was a calculated and deliberate attempt to commit fraud and steal money from taxpayers.”