• More than 2100 people convicted for tax and superannuation offences for the 2009-10 financial year

    Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo said that although most people do the right thing, it is disappointing that some people still try to avoid their tax and superannuation obligations.

    "Australia generally has a strong culture of voluntary compliance, however, a small number of people still try to cheat other Australians by evading their tax and superannuation obligations," Mr D'Ascenzo said.

    "We take all forms of tax evasion and intentional non-compliance seriously. Convictions can be for things like failing to lodge tax returns to serious misconduct like identity and refund fraud, and defrauding the Commonwealth."

    Mr D'Ascenzo said the ATO has upgraded its technology and has new risk filters in place to help detect over claimed or fraudulent income tax refunds.

    "We extensively cross-reference information reported in tax returns with information provided by third parties to identify errors or discrepancies. Last year we matched over 500 million transactions."

    "We will continue to strengthen our methods to detect returns that may be fraudulent and expand the use of our fraud detection models."

    "People need to manage their own tax affairs responsibly because ultimately they will have to pay the consequences for their actions," Mr D'Ascenzo said.

    The ATO also recognises that the majority of people attempt to do the right thing and encourages anyone struggling to meet their obligations to contact the ATO on 13 11 42 to discuss their individual circumstances.

    Anyone who suspects someone is evading their tax and superannuation obligations or possibly conducting fraudulent activities can report it by calling the ATO on 1800 060 062. Tax agents can also call us on 13 72 86 - fast key code 3, 4 (between 8.00 and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday).

    Please note: Figure of 2100 people comprises 1686 individuals and 480 companies prosecuted and convicted.

      Last modified: 04 Aug 2010QC 28250