A Gold Coast woman has been jailed for tax fraud, after swindling almost $200,000 from the ATO through false BAS statements.
32-year-old Alana Hodge, a de-registered tax professional, was sentenced to three years jail at Brisbane District Court yesterday, and ordered to pay $158,845 in reparations.
Ms Hodge managed tax obligations for seven businesses, where she lodged 47 false Business Activity Statements (BAS) and amendments without her clients’ knowledge.
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It happened between 2015-2017.
Police say she then tried to obtain around $65,000 in GST refunds, but the ATO had already been tipped off and that money was never released.
The Tax Practitioners’ Board terminated Ms Hodge’s registration in October 2018 and banned her for the maximum five-year term.
Assistant Commissioner Adam Kendrick said that tax and BAS agents play a vital role in contributing to and protecting the integrity of the Australian tax and super systems.
“The ATO knows that the majority of registered agents do the right thing, but unfortunately there are some agents who take advantage of their clients for financial benefit,” Mr Kendrick said.
“As demonstrated in today’s case, even registered tax professionals can be dishonest and take advantage of their clients. That is why it’s important for the ATO and Tax Practitioners’ Board (TPB) to work together to maintain the integrity of the tax profession and identify those who try to undermine their trusted position.”
“We want to assure the community we take these matters seriously and work closely with the TPB to combat dishonest behaviour,” Mr Kendrick said.
If you are concerned about the conduct of a tax practitioner you can report them to the TPB.