4 year jail sentence for falsely claiming $540k in GST refunds | Irish Bentley Laywers
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Tax Fraud – False GST Refund Claims

The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed a taxpayer’s appeal against the severity of a tax fraud sentence handed down by the NSW District Court concerning his lodgment of false BASs claiming GST refunds of just over $500,000.

The taxpayer falsely claimed $540,898 in GST refunds by lodging 27 false BAS Statements over an 18 month period on behalf of 3 companies of which he was the sole director and shareholder.

He received $380,000 before the false BASs were detected.

The BASs were lodged between 9 July 2004 and 4 January 2006), based on a claimed total business expenditure of $6.7m reported for four (4) businesses.

The Court said the figure “was a complete fabrication, as the nominated entities were not engaged in any trading”.

The taxpayer pleaded guilty to 4 counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial benefit by deception contrary to s 134.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). On 30 March 2012, he was sentenced by Flannery DCJ to a total head sentence of imprisonment for 4 years and 3 months commencing on 30 March 2012 and expiring on 29 June 2016 with a non-parole period of 2 years and 2 months expiring on 29 May 2014.

He appealed against the severity of the tax fraud sentence.

The taxpayer claimed that his case involved “exceptional and very special circumstances” and that “a custodial sentence when considering all the circumstances is unjust and unsafe”. The Court of Criminal Appeal disagreed and upheld the sentence that had been imposed. (Edwards v R [2013] NSWCCA 54, NSW Court of Criminal Appeal, Johnson, Harrison and Adamson JJ, 13 March 2013.)

Please talk with our Principal Zeke Bentley if you have been audited, searched or charged as a result of understating your tax position.

Zeke has over 16 years’ experience in the area, and is currently contesting tax assessments exceeding $40 million.

It is important to secure experienced legal representation when dealing with any criminal matter, or tax matters.

For all matters including tax law and charges of tax fraud, speak to the team at Irish Bentley Lawyers today.

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