A Queensland woman has today been sentenced in the Maroochydore District Court to two years and six months’ jail for GST fraud, totalling $200,553.
In addition to the sentence, Ms Justine Ibbetson was also ordered to pay back the sum of $200,553 to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
In her capacity as director of Coolum Telecoms Pty Ltd, Ms Ibbetson unlawfully lodged 10 false business activity statements (BAS) overstating the company’s GST credits and refunds owed.
Ms Ibbetson also attempted to obtain an additional $55,413 in fraudulent refunds, which were stopped as a result of an audit into Coolum Telecoms’ tax affairs by the ATO during the period of offending.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Shane Strong welcomed today’s sentence, saying it demonstrates the ATO’s firm stance against tax crime.
“We have no tolerance for blatant fraud like we have seen in this case,” Mr Strong said.
“Those who are caught deliberately trying to cheat the tax system can expect to feel the full force of the law, including large fines and even jail time.
“Tax fraud is not a victimless crime – those who engage in this criminal behaviour are effectively stealing from the pockets of taxpayers and obtaining an unfair advantage over those who do the right thing.”
Suspected tax fraud can be reported anonymously via the ATO app, or by calling the ATO Fraud Tip-off Line on 1800 060 062.
This matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.