Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo said the outcome of yesterday’s case of WA director Joanne De Hollander sends a clear message to the community: if you deliberately do the wrong thing you will face serious consequences.

De Hollander was sentenced yesterday to three years jail, with non-parole period of 20 months for understating cash business sales by over $5.6 million and intent to underpay GST obligations by some $514,000 for two companies that she was the sole director of.

“Not declaring cash income and making fraudulent GST claims is illegal,” Mr D’Ascenzo said.

“Doing the wrong thing towards your obligations insults those in the community including other businesses who do the right thing; and that is just not fair.

“If you deliberately do the wrong thing you will get caught.”

Last financial year:

  • 28 people were prosecuted for over $17 million worth of GST-related fraud offences
  • The ATO’s verification checks of taxpayers Business Activity Statements resulted in over 30,000 statements being adjusted to reflect correct circumstances
  • The ATO received over 44,000 ‘contacts’ including calls, letters, faxes and emails from the community relating to those who may be doing the wrong thing towards their obligations via ATO Tax Evasion Referral Centre
  • The ATO increased scrutiny of businesses deliberately not reporting cash income, with over 1.4 million small businesses evaluated against our sophisticated risk detection systems.

“A key part of our Compliance Program is increasing our focus on non-complying taxpayers in the GST system, with $337 million provided in last financial year’s budget for this purpose. We are also focusing on those who fail to report some or all cash transactions. While it is not illegal to trade in cash it is illegal to not report it,” Mr D’Ascenzo said.

“If you are having trouble understanding or meeting your obligations I encourage you to give us a call and discuss your circumstances.”

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