The offence of Failing to Answer Questions When Attending Before the Commissioner is found in section 54 of the Taxation Administration Act. It is a criminal offence that is committed by a person or a corporation that failed to keep their tax records in English or in a form that can be easily translated into English.
Have you been accused of failing to keep a Form of Record in English? Do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm to speak with one of our skilled defence lawyers.
InterviewIf the police contacts you asking you to come in for an interview regarding an allegation of failing to keep tax records in English, it is important to be aware that they will most likely have gathered documents and records that they will say is evidence to support the allegation against you. In those circumstances, it is crucial that you speak to a lawyer in order to understand your rights and obligations during a police interview.
Police may ask you to look at documents, confirm they were prepared by you and acknowledge signatures. It is in your interest to be prepared to respond or to know how to make a no comment interview and feel comfortable in your right to do so.
At Doogue + George we have experience in attending interviews and can provide you with detailed instructions on how to conduct a no comment interview which may be your best position to defend an allegation of failing to keep tax records in English.
Pleading Not GuiltyPleading not guilty to a charge of failing to keep tax records in English will require careful examination of the documents police have compiled as evidence they say confirms you committed the offence. In your case it is likely that you will need to engage the services of a NAATI accredited translator or interpreter. We have experience in working with translators and interpreters in criminal cases. Working with experts may be the key to defending your case.
Pleading GuiltyA plea hearing is your chance to tell the Court why you failed to keep tax records in English. The aim of the plea hearing is to minimize the penalty you receive. This is achieved through early preparation. The Court will want to hear about the circumstances that lead to the offending, your personal circumstances both past and present and any other factors that might reduce the penalty being considered. To support any of the factors put forward, it is important to obtain material such as psychological reports, course certificates, and character references. Obtaining advice from Doogue + George Defence Lawyers will help to ensure you get the lowest possible penalty in your case.
Examples of Form of Record – English Language
- Company tax records are kept in Chinese.
- English records were also available.
Questions in cases like this
- What language are your tax records kept in?
- If your tax records are kept in a language other than English, are English copies available?
Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this chargeThe maximum penalty for Form of Record – English Language (s54 of the Taxation Administration Act) is a fine of 200 penalty units in the case of a body corporate, or 40 penalty units in any other case.
This charge would generally be heard in the Magistrates’ Court.
What can you be sentenced to for this charge?If found guilty of this offence you will incur a fine.
LegislationThe section that covers this offence is section 54 of the Taxation Administration Act 1997.
What is the legal definition of Form of Record – English Language?The offence is made out if the accused was required to keep tax records and the records were not kept in English or in a form that could be easily translated into English.
“Are your tax records only in a foreign language?”