Tax law defences

There is a range of approaches that may be taken in defending a general tax fraud charge.

Often it is the case that the allegation of fraud cannot be made out. Often the police or the Commonwealth DPP can be satisfied by the production of documents or evidence that a particular purchase has been made or that a particular company has in fact done what is claims to have done. If so, we may be able to resolve the matter with the police or the Commonwealth DPP before charges are brought or, alternatively, have the charges withdrawn.

Defence of honest and reasonable mistake of fact

Whilst making a mistake due to carelessness, recklessness or laziness may not be sufficient to escape a charge, often mistakes are made due to misunderstandings, due to errors in book keeping and other related issues. The defence requires an honest mistake about a fact that if it existed, would render you innocent, and that such a mistake is reasonable in the circumstances.

There is a range of other ways in which a charge can be defended. Often the police or the DPP may seek to imply motives that cannot be made out by the evidence. The words ‘deception’ and ‘fraud’ have very particular legal meanings and often through careful defence work, the police or the Commonwealth DPP are not able to make out their claims.

There are also more general criminal defences such as duress and necessity that may be available to you. This is why it is essential that criminal law specialists who know both the defences under the tax legislation and criminal law conduct these matters. They are criminal law questions asked in a law context.


If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in corporate crime and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.


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