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  • Jail time for tax agent caught stealing refunds from clients

    A Sydney man was today sentenced in the Parramatta Court to a one year jail term for lodging fraudulent income tax returns on behalf of clients and stealing refunds.

    In his role as a registered tax agent from 2011 to 2015, Nigel Bradshaw lodged a number of income tax returns in which he under reported his clients’ income in order to gain larger refunds. The refunds were then funnelled through a bank account Mr Bradshaw controlled before being passed on to his unwitting clients, with Mr Bradshaw pocketing the inflated difference. On other occasions, Mr Bradshaw lodged correct income tax returns on behalf of his clients, but still siphoned off some refunds into his own accounts.

    Mr Bradshaw’s activities resulted in a loss to the Commonwealth of over $80,000 and a loss to eight individual taxpayers of over $10,000.

    Mr Bradshaw has previously been investigated by the Tax Practitioners Board and his registration was terminated in July 2015.

    Mr Bradshaw was also ordered by the court to pay full reparations to the Commonwealth.

    Acting Assistant Commissioner David Mendoza welcomed the sentence handed down today.

    “Taxpayers should be able to trust their registered tax professional to do the right thing when handling their tax affairs. Lodging fraudulent tax returns on behalf of clients and then stealing the tax refunds is not only a clear breach of trust, but also serious fraud.” said Mr Mendoza.

    If a member of the community has any knowledge or concerns about someone doing the wrong thing they can report it online at ato.gov.au/tipoff or by calling 1800 060 062.

    If you know of someone providing tax agent services for a fee or other reward who is not registered, you can let the TPB know at tpb.gov.auExternal Link.

    Last modified: 06 Sep 2019QC 60074