New taskforce targeting international tax evasion

Australians involved in international tax evasion schemes are being warned that a new multi-agency taskforce is making headway in eight investigations into serious financial crimes.

Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O'Dwyer, said the "Government is absolutely committed to ensuring tax avoidance, whether international or domestic, does not corrupt our tax system in Australia", at the launch of the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce.

She revealed that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) had raised $85 million in liabilities since 1 July, having conducted and instigated over 580 audits into suspected criminal activity.

O'Dwyer said the taskforce, comprising the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the ATO and law enforcement agencies, was the most recent addition to the Government's suite of measures designed to disrupt and deter serious financial crimes.

"This new taskforce continues on that great action and there has already been action to date from the first of July," she said.

"There are eight new active investigations that are on foot. These are matters where we suspect crimes may have been committed involving abuse of use of trusts, fraudulent phoenixing and international tax evasion from across around 10 international jurisdictions.

"The ATO has already conducted and instigated over 580 audits and they have raised $85 million dollars in liabilities since the first of July this year."

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