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Daily Tax Quote

Australian Tax Agency Pursuing Unreported Income From Gangs

by Mary Swire, Tax-news.com, Hong Kong Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has participated in a "week of action" in which it targeted tax evasion among motorcycle gangs.

The ATO collaborated with the Australian Federal Police and state and territory police on the initiative. It issued notices for service last week to members of the Outlaw Motor Cycle Gangs (OMCGs) for failure to comply with their tax obligations, including the correct lodgement of returns, payment of taxes, and the reporting of income.

The ATO explained that to date, almost half of the notices have been served, including 11 notices for tax debts totalling nearly AUD4m (USD2.96m). The remaining notices will be served over the coming weeks.

The ATO is a participant in Operation Morpheus, a joint agency taskforce aimed at the detection, deterrence, and disruption of OMCGs and their members. In 2015-16, the taskforce targeted 668 taxpayers and raised liabilities of AUD13.3m. A total of 193 tax returns were secured with AUD5.9m in cash collected, 35 people prosecuted for non-lodgment, and a further AUD55,000 raised in prosecution fines.

An ATO spokesperson said: "An unprecedented level of available data and data-matching programs has increased our capacity to bring to light illegal activities that might previously have fallen under the radar. We investigate all serious tax-related fraud offences, and share information with our Commonwealth partners. Where the evidence warrants it, we refer cases to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for prosecution."

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