Launceston tax agent charged over alleged $1m fraud scheme

Tasmania Police Detective Inspector Kim Steven
Tasmania Police Detective Inspector Kim Steven

A Launceston tax agent has been charged over an alleged fraud scheme totalling more than $1 million.

The 35-year-old man was arrested on Thursday after an 18 month investigation led by Tasmania Police and Australian Tax Office.

He has been charged with 25 counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception and 16 counts of stealing by misappropriation.

Police allege the man, through his role as a tax agent, misappropriated individual tax returns and falsified business activity statements for his financial benefit from September 2017 to March 2020.

The alleged offences breached state and Commonwealth legislation.

IN OTHER NEWS:

As a result of the investigation, police say the Tax Practitioners Board terminated the man's tax agent registration in 2019.

"This is another example of Tasmania Police working with partner law enforcement agencies in often complex investigations requiring a range of skills, this extensive investigation has resulted in the charges laid," Detective Inspector Kim Steven said.

ATO assistant commissioner Ian Read said the ATO was working directly to provide support to impacted clients of the tax agent.

"The majority of tax agents are trusted advisors who support the integrity of the tax system and their clients," he said.

"However, when we identify tax agents who appear to be breaching the trust placed in them and defrauding their clients and the system, we take it seriously."

The man has been bailed and will appear in the Launceston Magistrates Court on May 26.

Anyone who thinks they might be the victim of tax agent fraud should:

  • Report the circumstances to the police
  • Lodge an online complaint with the TPB here
  • Contact the ATO Client Identity Support Centre: 1800 467 033

More information is available here.

This story Tax agent charged over alleged $1m fraud scheme first appeared on The Examiner.