Tax Fraud Offences
What is Tax Fraud?
Tax Fraud is considered a very serious offence, as it is one committed against the Commonwealth.
Tax Fraud involves the deliberate failure by a person to declare a partial or whole portion of their personal or business income. It can also include a person misrepresenting the correct amount of their personal or business expenses in an effort to minimise the total amount of tax payable.
It is a very serious charge as there is a an inherent intent element behind the offence in an attempt to gain financial advantage, where the accused deliberately attempts to evade tax reporting obligations which are imposed by the Government. They are usually prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution. A large portion of the evidence will come from the tax audits on individuals and businesses that the Australian Taxation Office conducts on a regular basis.
The penalties imposed will vary and will often reflect the time, nature and amounts of money involved. For a major offence, a criminal record, combined with a hefty fine and up to 10 years imprisonment are all available sentencing options.
When the ATO believes that you have committed fraud, they will conduct an investigation which may involve a request to participate in a recorded interview. It is strongly advised that you exercise your right to silence and contact Lawyer Call solicitors before speaking to any Anti-Fraud Investigators from the ATO.
If you have been charged with Tax fraud, contact one of our offices today and seek the legal assistance of experienced professionals in this field.
Tax & The Law
The offence of Tax Fraud is generally covered under two sections of the Criminal Code (Commonwealth) 1995:
Section 134.2(1) - Obtain Financial Advantage by Deception; and
Section 135.1(1) - General Dishonesty - Obtain a Gain
What the Prosecution need to Prove (Beyond a Reasonable Doubt):
In order for the prosecution to prove that you are guilty of Tax Fraud, an intent element needs to be proved, meaning that a person deliberately failed to declare tax or business income correctly, in attempt to obtain financial advantage from the Commonwealth Entity being the Australian Taxation Office. It will be alleged that this financial advantage would be have been obtained through deceptive means.
There are aggravating factors that may increase the penalty and they include:
The level of sophistication involved in committing the fraud including the use of multiple identities, and any other forms of attempts to cover the offending.
The time period throughout which the offending occurred
If the offence was committed on a basis of greed rather than an apparent need
There are also mitigating factors that may assist in sentence proceedings to reduce the penalty imposed.
Cooperation with the authorities
Entering a plea of guilty at an early stage
Terminating the conduct prior to being detected by authorities
Contact Lawyer Call to discuss your circumstances and obtain an expert legal opinion on how to best deal with your Court proceedings. Despite the common trend of having custodial sentences imposed for these types of offences, our specialised criminal solicitors at have often obtained non-custodial sentences, even in those cases where the money amount was significant.
Going to Court – “What am I looking at?”
If you have been charged with Tax Fraud, you will have to go before the Court, and if convicted, you will receive a criminal record, and potential further implications such as community service or time in custody. The penalties for Fraud can be severe, with a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment in the Local Court, and a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment in the District Court.
Lawyer Call – Help is just a click away..
At Lawyer Call, we understand that if you or a loved one has been charged with Tax Fraud, you may be feeling anxious and worried about what will happen next.
Contact our office today, and rest assured you are in experienced and capable hands, working with expert lawyers with a proven track record of great results, having successfully defended countless cases of Fraud even in those circumstances where the Police evidence looked overwhelming and the Prosecution appeared to have a strong case.
We also understand the intricacies of conducting powerful pleas before a Magistrate, where should you wish to plead guilty, our lawyers have an impeccable strike rate of lessening the seriousness pf the sentence.
Our philosophy at Lawyer Call Criminal Defence is to ensure that the Court is able to take into account the entire overall picture of the person and their circumstances, rather than the offence committed alone. Such factors greatly help top mitigate or reduce the penalty given by the Courts, and an expert Defence Lawyer should present these factors with passion before a Magistrate or Judge.
With respect to the offence of Tax Fraud, our lawyers would be conferencing and touching upon such important factors as:
The length of time during which the offence took place
The amount of money
Whether the conduct of Tax Evasion involved a high degree of planning, or whether the actions was unsophisticated
Whether the money has been paid back
It is also very important to engage a solicitor that can highlight a client’s remorse for the offence committed through supporting character references, acknowledging letters of support and apology, and showing the Court if any restitution payments have already been made.
At every stage of this process, our lawyers will provide useful legal advice, strong representation in Court, masterful negotiation skills with the Australian Taxation Office and continuous personal support for you and your family throughout this trying time.
Our Online Legal Conferencing Service, together with our dedicated correspondence and face to face consultations are just only some of the reasons Lawyer Call is the Tax Fraud Defence Team you want on your side.
Call us today and together we will put up the right fight.