A former tax agent who falsified business activity statements and misappropriated individual tax returns has had more than 40 charges laid against him.
Tasmanian tax agent charged over $1m fraud
Officers from Tasmania Police and the ATO on Thursday arrested and charged a Launceston-based tax agent with 25 counts of deception and 16 counts of stealing by misappropriation.
The arrest followed an 18-month investigation that found the tax agent had misappropriated individual tax returns and falsified business activity statements for financial gain, between September 2017 and March 2020.
According to Tasmania Police, the alleged fraud totalled more than $1 million, with the charges laid against the man putting him in breach of both state and Commonwealth legislation.
The unnamed tax agent was also struck off the Tax Practitioners Board’s register in 2019 after an investigation was conducted.
ATO Assistant Commissioner Ian Read said the Tax Office is doing all it can to extend support to the clients impacted by the tax agent’s offences.
“The majority of tax agents are trusted advisers who support the integrity of the tax system and their clients,” Mr Read said.
“However, when we identify tax agents who appear to be breaching the trust placed in them and defrauding their clients and the system, we take it seriously.”
Detective Inspector Kim Steven, of Tasmania Police, said the charges laid are the result of a complex, inter-agency investigation.
“This is another example of Tasmania Police working with partner law enforcement agencies in often complex investigations requiring a range of skills,” Mr Steven said.
“This extensive investigation has resulted in the charges laid.”
The man has been granted bail and is due to appear in the Launceston Magistrates Court on 26 May.
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