The defendant was a registered tax agent working as an accountant and senior partner with an accountancy practice. Registered tax agents are able to log onto the ATO Tax Agent portal via the internet at any time and, once access in gained via a user ID and password, can make amendments to the client’s address, bank account and business activity statement (BAS). Between September 2004 and June 2005 the defendant electronically lodged 131 BAS relating to 22 separate entities, most of which were clients of the accountancy practice for whom she worked.
The 131 BAS contained false information in relation to GST free sales, non-capital purchases, capital acquisitions and wages withheld in order to obtain a GST refund or pay as you go (PAYG) withholding tax refund. The GST and PAYG refunds were paid into back accounts to which the defendant was a signatory and which she controlled.
As a result of the defendant’s conduct, $1,820,939 in refunds was generated by the ATO.
The defendant pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception pursuant to section 134.2(1) of the Criminal Code. On 28 June 2013 in the Victorian County Court the defendant was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 2 years.