On Friday, Nigel Bradshaw was sentenced in the Parramatta Court to a one-year jail term after being found to have stolen refunds from clients in his role as a registered tax agent from 2011 to 2015.
During those years, Mr Bradshaw lodged a number of income tax returns in which he under-reported his clients’ income in order to gain larger refunds.
The refunds were then funnelled through a bank account Mr Bradshaw controlled, before being passed on to his unwitting clients, with Mr Bradshaw pocketing the inflated difference.
On other occasions, Mr Bradshaw lodged correct income tax returns on behalf of his clients, but still siphoned off some refunds into his own accounts.
Mr Bradshaw’s activities resulted in a loss to the Commonwealth of over $80,000 and a loss to eight individual taxpayers of over $10,000.
The court has since ordered Mr Bradshaw to pay full reparations to the Commonwealth.
Mr Bradshaw has previously been investigated by the Tax Practitioners Board and his registration was terminated in July 2015.
ATO acting Assistant Commissioner David Mendoza welcomed the sentence handed down, calling on the public to tip off the Tax Office and the TPB in the event of any suspected fraudulent activity.
“Taxpayers should be able to trust their registered tax professional to do the right thing when handling their tax affairs,” Mr Mendoza said.
“Lodging fraudulent tax returns on behalf of clients and then stealing the tax refunds is not only a clear breach of trust, but also serious fraud.”
Jotham Lian is the news 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.