An NSW man who obtained more than $171,000 in fraudulent GST refunds has been sentenced to two years and eight months in jail.
Between December 2011 and April 2015, Raymond Cool said he was providing handyman, carpentry and computer repair services under the trading name Cool Industries.
He reported that the business had made more than $3.3 million in sales during this period, claiming corresponding acquisitions and input tax credits. As a result, he obtained $171,529 in fraudulent GST refunds.
He also attempted to claim an additional $4,832, but was stopped by the ATO.
When the ATO commenced an audit, it became clear that the other claims were false.
He did not hold a licence to perform carpentry or building work in NSW during the period in question and his bank statements did not show any activity that would suggest he was carrying on an enterprise.
Acting assistant commissioner Megan Croaker welcomed the sentence, reiterating the ATO’s stance on fraudulent behaviour.
“We have no tolerance for blatant fraud like we have seen in this case,” Ms Croaker said.
“Mr Cool attempted to substantiate his claims by providing a range of documents that were found to be of personal or non-business in nature, related to a period outside the scope of the audit, materially altered since being issued by third-party suppliers, or simply fabricated.
“We know that most people do the right thing. The small number of people who try to evade or cheat the tax and super system will get caught and we will take firm action.”
Mr Cool was originally due to face court in 2019, but he failed to appear. He evaded authorities until December 2020 when he was located and arrested by police.
Tony Zhang is a journalist at Accountants Daily, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the accounting sector.
Since joining the Momentum Media team in 2020, Tony has written for a range of its publications including Lawyers Weekly, Adviser Innovation, ifa and SMSF Adviser. He has been full-time on Accountants Daily since September 2021.