The Australian taxation system operates within a self assessment environment and relies on taxpayers acting honestly in complying with their taxation obligations as prescribed by legislation administered by the Commissioner of Taxation (‘Commissioner’). The Commissioner is empowered to ensure compliance of taxation laws by various methods including administrative penalties and prosecutions.
Proceedings against taxpayers whose actions or omissions constitute an offence can be initiated by the Australian Taxation Office (‘ATO’) or the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution (‘CDDP’).
The main taxation offences are contained in the following legislation:
- Taxation Administration Act 1953
- Income Tax Assessment Act 1936
- Sales Tax Assessment Act 1992
- Fringe Benefit Tax Assessment Act 1986
These Acts provide a range of taxation offences, including:
- Making false and misleading statements.
- Failure to correctly keep accounting records.
- Failure to lodge taxation returns or activity statements.
- Failure to pay tax or remit the tax deductions of employees.
In more serious cases a taxpayer can be prosecuted for offences involving fraudulent conduct under the Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995. Velos & Velos are able to advise you and/or instruct specialist Barristers to advise you, represent you at Court hearings in order to achieve the best possible outcome in regards to taxation offences.