In her capacity as director of Coolum Telecoms Pty Ltd, Justine Ibbetson unlawfully lodged 10 false business activity statements (BAS) overstating the company’s GST credits and refunds owed, obtaining a total sum of $200,553.
Ms Ibbetson also attempted to obtain an additional $55,413 in fraudulent refunds, which were stopped as a result of an audit into Coolum Telecoms’ tax affairs by the ATO during the offending period.
Sentenced in the Maroochydore District Court to two years and six months’ jail, Ms Ibbetson was also ordered to pay back the sum of $200,553 to the ATO.
ATO acting assistant commissioner Shane Strong said the sentence demonstrates the ATO’s firm stance against tax crime.
“We have no tolerance for blatant fraud like we have seen in this case,” Mr Strong said.
“Those who are caught deliberately trying to cheat the tax system can expect to feel the full force of the law, including large fines and even jail time.
“Tax fraud is not a victimless crime — those who engage in this criminal behaviour are effectively stealing from the pockets of taxpayers and obtaining an unfair advantage over those who do the right thing.”
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.