Charged in the Adelaide District Court with six counts of attempting, by deception, to dishonestly obtain a financial advantage from the Commonwealth, Adam Hamshere has today been sentenced to two years and four months in jail for attempting to obtain nearly $1.5 million in refunds he wasn’t entitled to.
The court heard that Mr Hamshere was enrolled in a tertiary accounting course and used his accounting knowledge to set up a fake business. He obtained an ABN, and later registered for GST and wine equalisation tax (WET), claiming he sold cigars.
Accountants Daily understands Mr Hamshere never worked in the accounting industry.
On 31 March 2016, Mr Hamshere lodged five business activity statements (BAS), claiming he was entitled to GST and WET refunds of $1,444,069.
Despite ATO systems flagging the claim, resulting in an immediate audit, Mr Hamshere subsequently rang the ATO almost a dozen times asking for his refund, and during the audit claimed his paper and electronic records had been stolen.
Detailed investigations by the Tax Office could find no evidence of business activity, nor evidence of Mr Hamshere’s claims that all of his paper and electronic records had been stolen.
Acting ATO assistant commissioner David Mendoza said the strong sentence was a fitting result for such an audacious attempt to cheat the tax system.
“Those people who try to evade or cheat the tax and super system will get caught and we will take firm action. We will not tolerate this type of behaviour,” Mr Mendoza said.
“The tax and superannuation systems are valuable community assets owned by all Australians and we all have a role in protecting them.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.