A South Australian reseller has been jailed following conviction on 79 charges of sales tax fraud amounting to $9579.51 in evaded tax.
Anthony Jackson of Kilburn, Adelaide, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment after pleading guilty to using a false sales tax registration number to purchase computers.
His sentence was reduced to three months on the condition he enter a two-year good behaviour bond after his release from prison.
"This is the first case of its kind in Adelaide," said Mike Cebalo, assistant commissioner with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
"There are also a number of cases in the other states, particularly Victoria and NSW, where we expect that a similar outcome will be achieved in the coming months," he said.
Cebalo is working on a national ATO audit program targeting sales tax evasion in the computer industry.
"We have done close to 1000 audits in the computer industry over the last 12 months now so we have got fairly extensive information about what is happening in the industry."
Over the last year, he said, 40 Crimes Act cases relating to sales tax fraud in the computer industry have been referred to the Australian Federal Police.
He said the industry itself is bringing such cases to the ATO's attention.
An unlawful advantage
"The people that do this are gaining a competitive advantage over people who do the right thing and pay their tax. A lot of them advertise at highly suspicious prices in computer magazines and particularly the Green Guide in Melbourne and the equivalent in other states."
Sales tax fraud offences under the Crimes Act carry penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment or a $100,000 fine.
Information relating to sales tax fraud in the computer industry can be reported to:
Australian Taxation Office
Tel (08) 8208 1976
Fax (08) 8208 1989