Tax Law Offences

Under the Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995 there is a range of different offences that a person who commits a tax fraud can be charged with. 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 offence that may apply is Obtain a Financial Advantage by Deception. In order to be found guilty of this offence it must be shown that a person has done the following things:

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

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

The second offence that may apply is the 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
  • The third person is a Commonwealth Entity.

Once again, the words “Commonwealth Entity” 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 one’s tax affairs.

If you require legal advice or representation in a tax fraud matter or in any other legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal. 


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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