Tax crime does not pay. It is very serious in the eyes of the law and very heavy fines and penalties, including imprisonment, apply.
As a taxpayer, it is essential that you seek legal advice from an experienced tax lawyer to avoid criminal action against you by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Ignorance of the law is not a defence. The law expects you to get proper legal advice on your tax affairs, understand your legal obligations and comply with them.
The ATO is committed to keeping the tax system fair and tackling tax crime in Australia. The ATO will use the full force of the law to prosecute people who deliberately and dishonestly break the law by not lodging their income tax returns on time, not paying their fair share of tax or claiming refunds when they are not legally entitled to them.
The main criminal offences relating to tax fraud are the following:
- Dishonestly obtaining Commonwealth property
- Obtaining financial advantage by deception
- Dishonestly causing a loss to the Commonwealth
The maximum penalty for these offences is 10 years imprisonment.
There are also many other criminal tax offences that you may not be aware of. For example, most taxpayers do not realise that failing to lodge an income tax return or business activity statement with the ATO by the required deadline is a criminal offence. They only realise this when it is too late and they have been prosecuted by the ATO for the non-lodgement of those documents. Those situations can be avoided by getting legal advice and understanding your tax obligations.
It is important that you seek legal advice from us to ensure that you do not break the law and commit a criminal offence in dealing with your tax affairs.
If you think you may have done the wrong thing in dealing with your tax affairs, you should get legal advice from us on how you may be able to fix the problem and minimise the penalties.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence regarding your tax affairs, you should contact us immediately to get legal advice. It is important and in your best interest to understand your legal rights and obligations before you say or do anything in relation to such matters.
To get legal advice from King Lawyers, please contact us to arrange an initial meeting.