Tackling tax crime

The criminal behaviour of a small percentage of people who deliberately evade the law to avoid paying their fair share of tax ranges from attempts to fraudulently obtain refunds by way of falsified activity statements or tax returns, to sophisticated tax evasion schemes often involving international transactions.

Tax crime is often associated with other forms of criminal behaviour. We tackle this in collaboration with regulatory and law enforcement agencies, including the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Border Force and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

For example, in partnership with other agencies through the Inter-Agency Phoenix Forum and the Phoenix Taskforce, the ATO is sharing intelligence, and investigating and prosecuting fraudulent phoenix activity.

We conducted almost 1,000 audits into phoenix schemes in 2015–16, and raised liabilities of around $250 million.