The Australian Tax Office's (ATO's) purge on sales tax cheats continued yesterday with two men charged and jailed for their part in defrauding the Commonwealth of sales tax on PC equipment.
According to the County Court, Chor Huat Loh and Swan Toh Tan were involved in the preparation of invoices claiming falsely that sales tax had been paid on PC equipment. In total, $694,625 in sales tax was evaded through businesses known as Evergood Trading, Malaya Trading and Deluxe Supplies.
Loh was sentenced to a total of 18 months jail, while Tan received an eight-month jail term. Both were given three-year good behaviour bonds. The Court convicted each defendant of two charges of fraud, for which the maximum sentence is ten years in jail and/or a fine of $100,000.
In sentencing the men, Judge Kelly said their actions "ensured that these criminals obtained a distinct financial advantage over their competitors, in what is a highly competitive market".
The prosecutions represent a timely warning for any reseller contemplating sales tax evasion. This week, the ATO unleashed its belated sales tax legislation to tackle sales tax fraud. It is designed to ensure that dealers can only purchase PC goods free of sales tax if they are accredited and the transactions are authorised.
According to Mike Cebalo, the assistant commissioner of Taxation (Withholding and Indirect Taxes): "Our approach to compliance is that we want to help people who are prepared to comply with the tax laws.
"But, we'll take action against those who seek to break the tax laws."