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  • How we respond

    We have increased our focus on activities involving illicit alcohol as they are offences under the Excise Act. We also work closely with the Department of Home Affairs – Australian Border Force for activities related to excise equivalent goods (EEGs) covered by the Customs Act.

    Wherever possible, we want to work with people and businesses to help them understand their obligations and to get back on track if they have made a mistake.

    We encourage you to contact us early (contact us about excise and EEGs) if you identify that you may need to adjust or correct something.

    When we identify instances of these activities

    Where we identify someone engaging in these activities, we will contact them to advise what they need to do to rectify the situation and avoid further compliance action by us.

    Penalties and other consequences may apply to participants in, and promoters of, these types of activities. However, consequences vary depending on whether the action was done with negligence, knowledge or intent. If we find that it was done with knowledge or intent, then more serious penalties and other sanctions under criminal law may apply, including imprisonment.

    Registered tax agents involved in the promotion of these types of activities may be referred to the Tax Practitioners Board, which can lead to deregistration.

    Where necessary, we will ensure the most serious offenders are brought to justice.

    Confidential reporting of tax evasion

    If you are aware of anyone who is engaging in these activities, we encourage you to report it to us using our tip-off form. The reporting process is confidential and helps us support the Australian community and retain fairness in the excise system.

    Next steps

    • complete the tip-off form
    • the tip-off form is also available in the contact us section of the ATO app.
    Last modified: 02 Dec 2021QC 63184