CONTINUEThis site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.
  1. Front Page
  2. News By Topic
  3. Australia Makes Progress In Offshore Crackdown

Australia Makes Progress In Offshore Crackdown

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

15 August 2007


Australia's Treasurer, Peter Costello, and Minister for Justice and Customs, David Johnston, announced yesterday that the government's offshore crackdown, known as Project Wickenby, has made significant progress on a number of fronts.

According to the officials, there is early evidence of a significant improvement (nearly 70%) in the net tax payable by individuals and companies identified as part of Project Wickenby. In addition, the Australian Taxation Office has raised more than A$50 million (US$42 million) in liabilities from finalising tax assessments, penalties and interest, and from taxpayers making voluntary disclosures.

Project Wickenby is a multi-agency taskforce investigating and prosecuting internationally-promoted schemes to avoid or evade Australian taxes and launder money.

The Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have 20 criminal investigations in progress. One investigation recently led to the conviction and sentencing of a high-profile Australian for three offences, including defrauding the Commonwealth.

More than 100 additional civil and criminal inquiries are currently in progress, and civil-based action under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 has been brought in two matters, with property to the value of more than A$12 million restrained.

As part of the 2006-07 Budget, the Government announced funding of more than $300 million over seven years for Project Wickenby. In addition to the Crime Commission, the Federal Police and ASIC, the initiative combines the capabilities of the Australian Taxation Office and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, supported by the Australian Government Solicitor, the anti-money laundering agency AUSTRAC and the Attorney-General’s Department.

Costello and Johnston said that the Taskforce has increased the capability of the Commonwealth to respond to threats to revenue, including threats instigated offshore.

Amendments to tax secrecy provisions that were enacted in April 2007 allow the Commissioner of Taxation to share information more effectively with other government agencies, to facilitate law enforcement activities for Project Wickenby.

This has assisted Taskforce agencies to work cooperatively in the detection and prosecution of fraud, money laundering and international tax avoidance and evasion, according to the government.

Project Wickenby has also led to the signing of Tax and Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) between Australia and offshore jurisdictions, including Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda and the Netherland Antilles.

TAGS: Curaçao

To see today's news, click here.

 















Tax-News Reviews

Cyprus Review

A review and forecast of Cyprus's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Cyprus Review »

Malta Review

A review and forecast of Malta's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Malta Review »

Jersey Review

A review and forecast of Jersey's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Jersey Review »

Budget Review

A review of the latest budget news and government financial statements from around the world.

Visit Budget Review »



Stay Updated

Please enter your email address to join the Tax-News.com mailing list. View previous newsletters.

By subscribing to our newsletter service, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.


To manage your mailing list preferences, please click here »