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ATO and Australian Federal Police crackdown on GST-fraud promoters

Jonathan Rudman
Published by:
Jonathan Rudman
Published on:
March 03, 2023
Last modified:
March 8, 2023
Modoras Accounting (SYD) Pty Ltd ABN 18 622 475 521
ATO and Australian Federal Police crackdown on GST-fraud promoters

Beware! A raft of enforcement activity has been undertaken across the country by the ATO-led Serious Financial Crime Taskforce, including the execution of search warrants and issuing of warning letters.

At 31 December 2022, the ATO took compliance action on more than 53,000 clients and stopped approximately $2.5 billion in fraudulent GST refunds from being paid to individuals seeking to defraud the system.

Two individuals have been sentenced to jail time for their crimes so far, following their arrest in 2022.

This follows 87 earlier arrests across the country, with many more to come. The ATO has commenced writing to more than 20,000 individuals involved in the fraud, warning them of the serious consequences coming their way unless they come forward and repay the money they have defrauded.

The fraud was first detected in early 2022 and involved offenders inventing fake businesses and Australian business number (ABN) applications, then submitting fictitious Business Activity Statements in an attempt to gain a false GST refund.

Promoters of the fraud use social media and other channels to recruit participants.

The ATO has been issuing warnings to the community to be on the lookout for fraud schemes that are being promoted through social media and other channels.

For those who may be tempted by the promise of big gains, the ATO has sophisticated risk models and works with banks, law enforcement agencies, and other organisations to share information and detect fraud. It also has access to intelligence through community tip offs, social media platforms, and other information sources.

Are You Ready for Tax Time?

In light of these recent developments and the serious consequences of tax fraud, it’s important to make sure you stay within the law when it comes to your taxes. Working with an experienced accountant can help ensure that you are complying with all necessary regulations and avoiding any potential legal issues.

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Gather your tax time documents and receipts, and book an appointment with a Modoras Accountant or call us on 1300 888 803. Tax time has never been so exciting because with planning… your lifestyle potential is just the beginning.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This blog has been prepared by Modoras Accounting (SYD) Pty Ltd ABN 18 622 475 521. The information and opinions contained in this blog is general information only and is not intended to represent specific personal advice (Accounting, taxation, financial, insurance or credit). No individuals’ personal circumstances have been taken into consideration for the preparation of this material. The information and opinions herein do not constitute any recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any particular financial product. Modoras Accounting (SYD) Pty. Ltd. recommends that no financial product or financial service be acquired or disposed of or financial strategy adopted without you first obtaining professional personal financial advice suitable and appropriate to your own personal needs, objectives, goals and circumstances. Information, forecasts and opinions contained in this blog can change without notice. Modoras Accounting (SYD) Pty. Ltd. does not guarantee the accuracy of the information at any particular time. Although care has been exercised in compiling the information contained within, Modoras Accounting (SYD) Pty. Ltd. does not warrant that the articles within are free from errors, inaccuracies or omissions. To the extent permissible by law, neither Modoras Accounting (SYD) Pty. Ltd. nor its employees, representatives or agents (including associated and affiliated companies) accept liability for loss or damages incurred as a result of a person acting in reliance of this publication. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

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