WA woman gets prison sentence for tax breaches

12/07/2018 - 13:13

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A 65-year-old Geraldton woman has been handed a suspended prison sentence after failing to lodge tax documents dating back to 2008.

WA woman gets prison sentence for tax breaches
The sentencing follows years of warnings and notices from the Australian Taxation Office.

A 65-year-old Geraldton woman has been handed a suspended prison sentence after failing to lodge tax documents dating back to 2008.

Judith Ahearn, who is a partner in a road freight business, received a 12-month suspended sentence  in the Geraldton Magistrates Court after being found guilty of 91 charges of failing to comply with a court order.

Mrs Ahearn’s failure to lodge her business activity statements dates back to October 2008, with her unlodged income tax returns falling in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 financial years.

The sentencing follows years of warnings and notices from the Australian Taxation Office, as well as two previous court-imposed fines of $30,000 and $20,000 for non-lodgement.

Assistant commissioner Peter Vujanic said the court’s decision was a reminder of the seriousness of refusing to engage with the ATO.

“When business owners continually refuse to meet their tax obligations, they are gaining an unfair advantage over the majority of businesses who are honest and pay their fair share,” he said.

“The ATO works hard to maintain a level playing field for all taxpayers and today’s court decision shows that no-one is above the law.

“Despite our repeated attempts to engage with Mrs Ahearn to resolve her outstanding tax returns, she has shown a complete disregard for her basic obligations as a member of the Australian community.

“While we’re disappointed that we have not been able to resolve this matter outside of the court system, we hope that the sentence handed down today sends a message to the community that lodging your tax returns is not optional.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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