Gold Bullion fraud targeted by Serious Financial Crime Taskforce

THE Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (Taskforce) today released its first Intelligence Bulletin (see below), designed to highlight areas of concern and help people make informed decisions about their tax affairs.

The Intelligence Bulletin focuses on activities in the gold bullion and precious metals refining industry.

Taskforce agencies are focussing on exposing sophisticated arrangements seeking to exploit GST rules in relation to precious metals.


Included in the precious metals GST exploitation are networks of industry participants including refiners, bullion dealers, gold kiosks, dealers and buyers.

The Taskforce uses data matching and analytics to identify GST fraud in the industry as well as following up on referrals of the same nature.

ATO Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston said the Taskforce is committed to stamping out GST fraud in the industry.

“We are targeting schemes that exploit GST rules and where there is fraud we will use the full force of the law to deal with those involved,” he said.

“Through the Taskforce we draw on the strengths of partner agencies to bring perpetrators of serious financial crime to justice.”

Respective agencies in the Taskforce work together to deploy deterrent and preventative strategies, share information and make use of their combined capabilities to remove the wealth from criminal activity and prosecute facilitators and promoters of serious financial crime.


Overview: The Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (Taskforce) is aware of artificial arrangements in the gold bullion and precious metals refining industry following intelligence and other activities conducted by Taskforce member agencies.

Description: We are seeing sophisticated arrangements that attempt to obscure transactions of recycled ‘investment form’ precious metals. We believe there are groups or networks of industry participants, including refiners, bullion dealers, gold kiosks, dealers and buyers within established supply chains involved in gold recycling (or carousel type) arrangements, seeking to exploit the GST rules in relation to precious metals. These artificial arrangements are established to obtain a benefit from the tax system of which there is no entitlement and are tax crimes.

Taskforce action: The Taskforce views schemes that exploit GST rules using artificial arrangements to be fraud. The Taskforce targets deliberate and organised evasion of taxation obligations and is currently reviewing referrals related to these schemes. Data matching and analytics mean that perpetrators of carousel type arrangements will be identified and dealt with using the full force of the law.

If you know of someone involved in such arrangements, you can report it by:

  • Completing the Report a Commonwealth crime to the AFP form
  • Confidentially report tax evasion to the ATO by completing an online tax evasion report or by phoning 1800 060 062
  • Additional information about the Taskforce and its enforcement efforts may be found on the taskforce website.