Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Tax Fraud

Tax Fraud

We prosecute a significant number of tax fraud matters including refund fraud matters and taxation evasion frauds and schemes. 

We prosecute taxation fraud and regulatory offences referred by the ATO. We also prosecute serious taxation evasion schemes referred by Serious Financial Crime Taskforce as well as matters referred by the AFP and the ACIC.

By agreement, the ATO may prosecute straight-forward regulatory offences under taxation legislation. Where a matter becomes a defended hearing, the ATO generally refers the matter to the CDPP. However, by agreement certain defended hearings may be conducted by the ATO.

The prosecution of Goods and Services Tax (GST) fraud forms a significant part of our practice. These prosecutions vary in sophistication from small-scale fraud to large, complex schemes.

We prosecute those who exploit the system by, for example, failing to report cash income, falsifying claims for GST credits as well as intermediaries such as tax agents and accountants who use their client’s taxation accounts and details to obtain benefits they are not entitled to. We also prosecute offences related to the trade in illicit tobacco and the evasion of excise and/or customs duty.

Prosecuting fraud against the Australian taxation system is important to maintaining public confidence in the taxation system. 

Key legislation

Main offences

  • 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.

Partner agencies

Practice Group Instructions (PGI)

PGI CFC No. 3 – PDF icon Dishonesty offences under the Criminal Code

PGI RBF No. 3 – PDF icon Charging under section 8C(1)(a) of the Taxation Administration Act 1953