Multi-agency taskforce Project Wickenby continues its fight against tax crime with more convictions and heavier penalties.
As at 31 July 2011, Project Wickenby has resulted in 20 convictions, and more than $1.1 billion in tax liabilities raised.
'The net is closing in on those who use tax secrecy jurisdictions to deliberately avoid paying their fair share of tax,' Commissioner of Taxation Michael D'Ascenzo said.
In 2010-11 two brothers were each sentenced to two years and seven months jail following investigations into the use of tax haven structures in Vanuatu. Former co-directors of a Sydney company, the pair used illegal 'round-robin' schemes to transfer money to an overseas account and then have it returned 'tax free' to their personal accounts, disguised as a loan. They will each serve 16 months in jail before being eligible for parole.
In the first money laundering conviction under Project Wickenby, a NSW man was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years jail after he was convicted of money laundering and tax fraud. This followed an investigation into his use of offshore tax structures. He will serve a minimum of four years and nine months jail before being eligible for parole.
Mr D'Ascenzo said the longer jail sentences sent a clear message: if you do the wrong thing you will get caught and will likely do time for the tax crimes you have committed.
Find out more about Project Wickenby.