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Inclusion of False or Misleading Information in Records

– section 52 of the Taxation Administration Act 1997

Inclusion of False or Misleading Information in Records is when you give information to the tax office that is incorrect or inaccurate. You have to know that the information you are providing is false or misleading.
Inclusion of False or Misleading Information in Records
This sort of charge would be heard in the Magistrates’ Court.
 
Examples of Inclusion of False or Misleading Information in Records
  • A woman intentionally entered the wrong amount for her yearly earnings in her tax statement.
  • A man provided a false statement of his investment property to the Tax Office.
Elements of the offence
The prosecution will need to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused has done one of the following:

s 52(1) – A person must not:

  1. Make a record required to be made by a taxation law which comprises or contains matter that is false or misleading in a material particular; or
  2. Include in a record required to be made or kept by a taxation law matter that is false or misleading in a material particular.

“Does the Tax Office have the wrong information about you?”

  • A person is not guilty of either of the above offences if the court is satisfied that the person did not know that the matter was false or misleading in a material particular.1
  • Proving the information was not false or misleading.
There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. It is important to remember that each matter is unique and requires an individual approach.

Questions in cases like this
  • Does the tax office have incorrect information about you?
  • Can they prove that you intentionally provided false information?
Questions the judge will consider:
  1. Was the accused required to keep a document under a taxation law? If yes, then go to question 2.
  2. Did the accused make a record that was false or misleading? If yes, then the accused is guilty of this offence and go to question 4.
  3. Did the accused include information in a record that was false or misleading? If yes, then the accused is guilty of this offence and go to question 4.
  4. Did the accused know the information was false or misleading? If no, then the accused is not guilty of this offence.

[1] Taxation Administration Act 1997 s 52(2).
 
Maximum penalty and the court that deals with this charge
The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of 1200 penalty units (approx. $200,000) in the case of a body corporate, or 240 penalty units (approx. $39,000) in any other case.2

If you are found guilty of this offence you will incur a fine.


[2] Taxation Administration Act 1997 s 52