Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Mark Whittaker

Year: 
2017-2018
Category: 
General Prosecutions
Location: 
Queensland

On 8 September 2017, Mark Whittaker’s appeal to overturn a sentence of 6 months’ imprisonment for eight tax offences was rejected, and his imprisonment stands.

The original sentence was imposed on 3 April 2014, after a summary trial in the Cairns Magistrates Court convicted Mr Whittaker of failing to lodge income tax returns for the financial years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. He also ignored a final notice issued by the Australian Taxation Office on 15 June 2012, to lodge them by 10 August 2012.

Mr Whittaker’s sentence of 6 months’ imprisonment was wholly suspended on the condition that he lodge the outstanding tax returns. He failed to comply with that condition and the CDPP brought breach proceedings against Mr Whittaker, which were successful.

As a result, the recognisance was revoked and Ms Whittaker was sentenced to 3 months’ imprisonment for each offence, to be served by way of an intensive corrections order (ICO). Whittaker appealed against the finding that the breach had been proven, arguing that he was never required to lodge a tax return as he was not a tax payer.

As at 27 November 2017, Mr Whittaker’s tax returns are still outstanding.

Charges/sentence

On 3 April 2014, Mark Whittaker was sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment to be released immediately, after entering into a recognisance of $5,000 on the condition he was of good behaviour for 24 months, and lodged all tax returns as ordered by the Court, in relation to:

  • 8 counts of failing to lodge income tax returns, contrary to section 20(1)(b) of the Crimes Act.

In the re-sentencing in September 2017, the Judge said Mr Whittaker’s grounds of appeal “are misconceived and doomed to fail”. Mr Whittaker has not lodged a further appeal.