Australia

ATO targets GST scams, recovers $1 billion

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Australian tax officials have been leading $ 1 billion in attempted fraud since January, and those trying to deceive the prosecutor with a GST scam have been warned they could face jail time when caught.

A task force led by the Australian Tax Office, working with the federal police, has issued warrants across the country this week to suspects of false business claims.

Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT) mandated 19 people on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in 12 locations across NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland.

Offenders generally invent fake business and get an Australian business number, often in their own name, before submitting a false activity statement to the ATO.

The person is then expected to claim a GST refund.

Participants were given a warning last month to come before further action was taken, ATO Deputy Commissioner and SCFT chief Will Day said.

People continue to try to engage in fraud despite warnings, Mr Day said.

“The ATO has suspended more than a billion dollars in fraud attempts,” he said.

“This is a clear warning to those considering participating – you will not succeed, you will not be anonymous, and you will face the consequences of your attempts.

“You could face serious consequences, such as imprisonment, if you don’t talk to us before we knock on your door.”

He said people could avoid more severe penalties when they come forward.

“For those who have already committed this fraud, we know who you are and you will need to reimburse the fake refunds you have found,” he said.

Exploitation of the tax system has a huge impact on the community and is taken seriously by federal police, Commander Christopher Woods told AFP Economic, Corporate Crime and Corruption.

Commander Woods said: “Every dollar found fraud represents money lost that could be used to benefit Australians every day.

This week’s warrant following the arrest of six people was also suspected of GST fraud in Victoria earlier this month.

– AAP

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ATO targets GST scams, recovers $1 billion Source link ATO targets GST scams, recovers $1 billion

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