Australian tax administrators and law enforcement have taken a massive step in the fight against Tax Crime. The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and Australian Taxation Office officials have made the decision to amalgamate with their overseas counterparts. This decision comes in the wake of the ever-increasing threat of tax crimes and money laundering here in Australia.
What is Tax Crime?
When someone deliberately breaks the law to either avoid paying tax or claims tax refunds or payments that they are not legally entitled to, it is considered tax crime. To commit tax crime is to abuse the tax and super systems to benefit financially. There are many ways to commit tax crimes and to contest these, and there are many penalties and prosecutions to deter these crimes from happening.
The J5 initiative
J5 is the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement, and they aim to eradicate tax crime and money laundering throughout the 5 Countries involved. The group is dedicated to running joint operations in pursuit of those enablers of transnational tax crimes.
ATO Deputy commissioner, Will Day, said “Recognising that tax crime crosses international borders, by participating in the J5, the ATO and ACIC can work with like-minded international tax administrations and law enforcement agency partners to build on our domestic activity and develop strategies to disrupt crime and better position Australia against emerging threats,”
What can you do to help the fight against Tax Crime?
Tax crime poses a genuine threat to the Australian economy, depriving the government of revenue that is so needed to supply the community with the services that they deserve. The destructive behaviour of a small handful of people widely affects the wellbeing of those that do the right thing. The first step in your help to prevent tax crime is to take all possible measures to protect your identity. Sounds obvious, we know, but the easiest way for culprits to commit tax crime is to use your compromised information. Be cautious who you share your personal details with and if you suspect that your identity has been compromised contact the ATO immediately.
Equally as important as protecting your own identity is to report any other potential tax crimes. If you notice any suspicious behaviour, you should speak out about it. The ATO and ACIC rely heavily on information provided by the public to stop any potential tax crimes
before they happen. Keeping an eye out for unreported cash sales or any scams that may have the intent of stealing identity could be the difference between a potential tax crime and a successful tax crime. You can contact the Tax Evasion Reporting Centre on 1800 060 062 if you find any suspicious behaviour.
The Australian Government has taken their steps to eradicate tax crime; now it’s our turn to do the same. Let’s rid Australia of these crimes and ensure a fair go for everyone!
Need help with your Tax Return?
Contact Online Tax Return today. We’ve got an experienced team of registered tax accountants ready to maximise your next return.