Offences & charges

Under the Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995 there is a range of different offences that a person who commits a tax fraud can be convicted of.

The first thing to understand is that there is no specific offence of “tax fraud”. There is a range of general offences against the Commonwealth that absorb the subject area.

The first is “Obtain a Financial Advantage by Deception”. In order to be convicted of this offence it must be shown that a person has done the following things:

  • Obtained a financial advantage;
  • Have obtained that advantage by “deception”; and
  • That the person from whom the financial advantage has been obtained is a Commonwealth Entity.

The term “Commonwealth Entity” includes the Australian Taxation Office or the Commonwealth generally. The penalty for this offence is imprisonment for up to 10 years.

There is a further offence of “Conspiracy to Defraud”. A person commits this offence if the person:

  • Conspires with another person;
  • Does so with the intention of dishonestly obtaining a gain for a third person; and
  • That the third person is a Commonwealth Entity.

Once again, the words “Commonwealth Entity” would include the Australian Taxation Office or the Australia Government generally. The penalty for this offence is also imprisonment for up to 10 years.

There is also a range of other comparatively less serious offences that can be committed in the process of completing ones tax affairs.


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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