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Sales tax avoider hits the slammer

Sales tax avoider hits the slammer

Another reseller is in jail after being convicted on sales tax avoidance, the fifth such custodial sentence handed out to IT channel players in the last year.

Shayne William Watson, of Lilydale Victoria, was convicted of defrauding the Commonwealth of about $750,000 in sales tax on computer hardware. It is understood that goods imported by Watson were undervalued on the invoice to avoid the tax, and that the offences occurred between 1995 and 1998.

According to the Australian Taxation Office's national manager of the sales tax computer project, Bill Madden, Watson had operated under the name Summit Computers and subsequently sold the business to someone not associated with the fraud.

He was sentenced last week to two years on the fraud charge, one year on a false document charge and one year on charges of operating bank accounts under false names. He will serve six months in jail and agreed to be placed on a four-year good behaviour bond on his release.

"Although the current sales tax system is finishing on June 30, we will continue to monitor compliance, and we will take action against people deliberately evading tax," Assistant Tax Commissioner John McCarthy warned.


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