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The largest tax scandal in Australia’s history – organised by the ATO

Friday, September 14, 2018

It’s a shock to find that what could be viewed as arguably the greatest tax scandal in Australia’s history was organised by the Australian Taxation Office. The tax revenue loss from high-wealth individuals who should have paid tax is likely in the order of $2 billion, perhaps even more.

The tax losses relate to an ATO tax amnesty called Project Do It which gave massive tax advantages to Australian high-wealth individuals who had hidden $6.5 billion in secret overseas (mostly Swiss) bank accounts. They were tax evaders who were about to be caught.

Yet the ATO stepped in to ‘protect’ these high-wealth people under a tax amnesty called Project Do It, resulting in the billion dollar tax losses. The amnesty was organised by a top tax official now facing charges in an unrelated alleged $160 million tax fraud involving his son.

Following a seven-month investigation, today we release the report detailing the scandal:
  • The publicly available report is here.
  • A summary of the basic facts is here.
  • Losses calculation spreadsheet is here (SEA member access)
  • Source references are here (SEA member access)
We are shocked by what we have discovered.

We call the report ‘ATO Rules for the Rich’. Project Do It demonstrates the stark difference between how the ATO treats select high-wealth individuals and what the ATO does to ordinary small business people and individual taxpayers. Remember the Four Corners program ‘Mongrel Bunch of Bastards’!

The ATO must be split into two different organisations under a common-sense reform agenda.

Further, our report calls for the highest level of independent investigation into the ATO to determine whether the ATO operates within the law and whether the ATO suffers from systemic internal corruption.

When the most powerful, secretive and unaccountable of government institutions, the Tax Office, gives clear advantage to the wealthy over ordinary Australians, then the rule of law and democracy itself is at risk.

Add your support to the campaign for tax justice for the ordinary person. Join us here.

Note: The matters discussed here and in the report are the honestly held opinions of the author based on publicly available information. The matters are expressed as opinion not fact. The opinions relate to a matter of significant public interest.
Marion Clarke commented on 14-Sep-2018 01:07 PM
This is just disgusting if it is true. Where is the justice for the tax payers that are doing the right thing, and if we didn't we would be chased to the ends of the earth.
Anonymous commented on 15-Sep-2018 08:09 AM
There has always been 2 sets of rules, the rich will always benefit from our tax system and our thieving government, while the ordinary taxpayer is bludgeoned to almost death, as long as they just keep on working and supplying the cash to support the rich and government. Investigate and prosecute to the highest degree to get this country where it should be, we were the best country in the world to live once upon a time, not anymore, the fairy-tale is over.
Helen Mullins commented on 17-Sep-2018 04:55 PM
When services roads hospitals in the bush are starved of money and very rich individuals and companies get away as tax cheats we the public feel very miffed indeed. Catch these cheats

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