Prosecuting frauds against the Australian taxation system continues to make up a significant part of the CDPP practice. The CDPP prosecutes a significant number of taxation prosecutions stemming from tax schemes and fraud relating to income tax and the GST. The CDPP prosecutes taxation frauds referred by the Serious Non-Compliance area of the ATO, the AFP and the ACIC.
We also prosecute regulatory offences under taxation legislation. By arrangement with the CDPP, the ATO prosecutes straight-forward regulatory offences but if a matter becomes a defended hearing the ATO refers the matter to the CDPP to continue the prosecution. This cooperative relationship assists the ATO with its compliance program by enabling the efficient and effective prosecution of regulatory offences relating to the proper administration of Australia’s taxation laws.
The GST is a key element of the Australian taxation system. Prosecuting people who exploit that system, for example, by failing to report cash income received by them or by falsifying claims for GST credits, is an important way in which the CDPP helps to maintain public confidence in the tax system. GST prosecutions vary in sophistication from small-scale fraud to large, complex schemes.
In February 2006 the Commonwealth cross agency taskforce known as Project Wickenby was set up to combat international tax evasion which posed a serious threat to the integrity of Australia’s tax and other regulatory systems.
- s.134.1(1) Criminal Code – dishonestly obtaining Commonwealth property
- s.134.2(1) Criminal Code – obtain financial advantage by deception
- s.135.4(3) Criminal Code – dishonestly cause a loss to the Commonwealth
The maximum penalty for offences against sections 134.1(1), 134.2(1) and 135.4(3) of the Criminal Code is 10 years imprisonment.
The CDPP provides sentencing data to the Commonwealth Sentencing Database (CSD). Permission to access the CSD can be obtained at http://njca.com.au/sentencing.
- DPP v Hamman (NSWCCA unreported, 1 December 1998)
- R v Caradonna  NSWCCA 398; (2000) 118 A Crim R 312
- R v Hawkins (1989) 45 A Crim R 430
- R v O’Connor  NSWCCA 156; (2002) 129 A Crim R 505
- R v Ronen  NSWCCA 123; (2006) 161 A Crim R 300
- R v Stitt (1998) 102 A Crim R 428
- R v Wright (1994) 74 A Crim R 152
Practice Group Instructions (PGI)
PGI CFC No. 3 – Dishonesty offences under the Criminal Code