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Sydney tax agent axed over JobKeeper fraud

A Sydney tax agent has been banned for the maximum five-year period after allegedly claiming over $500,000 in JobKeeper payments and BAS refunds on behalf of unwitting clients.

Business Jotham Lian 07 June 2021
— 1 minute read

Maricar Santos Rosauro was found by the Tax Practitioners Board to have submitted a total of 43 JobKeeper applications on behalf of 19 clients despite failing to obtain their permission.

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She also lodged a total of 147 business activity statements on behalf of her clients, falsely declaring to the ATO that she had prepared the documents in accordance with information supplied by those clients and had received authorities from them to lodge.

The fraudulent BAS lodgements and JobKeeper applications resulted in over $500,000 held on trust that never made it to Ms Rosauro’s clients. Instead, she used the funds for her own personal and business expenses.

Ms Rosauro, who operated out of Glenhaven in Sydney’s North West, was also found to have underdeclared her taxable income in two tax returns by reporting $20,000 and $40,000 for each year despite the ATO assessing her reportable income as over $200,000 and over $150,000 respectively.

The ATO also assessed her GST payable to be over $100,000 and PAYG withholding for her employees to be over $1,000 despite Ms Rasauro declaring nil amounts on her BAS.

The TPB’s investigations also uncovered her failure to pay over $350,000 in outstanding tax debts as well as her failure to lodge multiple tax returns and BAS on time.

Ms Rosauro also failed to ensure her two companies and her self-managed super fund had complied with their lodgement and debt obligations.

In determining that she was not a fit and proper person, the TPB also found that Ms Rosauro had travelled to Queensland on three occasions despite having been in COVID-19 hotspot locations in New South Wales and without first obtaining a Border Declaration Pass amid border closures.

“[Ms Rosauro] engaged in conduct that undermines the integrity of the tax system, and not only risked her personal affairs, but also extended to significant personal and financial impact to her clients’ affairs, and therefore is not a person that the Board, the commissioner and the public could have confidence would perform her functions as a registered tax practitioner competently and with integrity,” the TPB said.

She has been banned from making an application for registration for the maximum period of five years to May 2026.

The ATO has refrained from commenting on possible charges being laid against Ms Rosauro. The Tax Office had secured its first criminal conviction for JobKeeper fraud in February after a sole trader pleaded guilty to making false and misleading statements to secure the wage subsidy payment.

Sydney tax agent axed over JobKeeper fraud
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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

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.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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