Qld businesses raided as ATO joins global hunt for tax evasion software

The Australian Tax Office has announced a crackdown on businesses suspected of supplying software designed to help businesses avoid paying tax.

Dec 12, 2022, updated Dec 12, 2022
Queensland businesses raided over software

Queensland businesses raided over software

About 35 raids have already occurred in Australia in Queensland, NSW and Western Australia, but the crackdown is part of a global effort by the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement, which includes the UK, the US and Australia.

The software, known as ESST, allows retailers to keep a separate set of books and launder money in one transaction.

ATO deputy commissioner John Ford said the sales suppression tools concealed and transfer the income, anonymously, often offshore.

It also allowed the system to permanently delete transactions, reduce sales values, misrepresent transactions and produce fake records.

“So, what might happen is that a customer orders a $60 steak and a $100 bottle of wine and the software then puts it through the point of sales system as a $10 bowl of chips and $4 bottle of soft drink,” Ford said.

“Adding ESST to your point-of-sale system is a deliberate and underhanded act designed purely to under-report income and avoid tax obligations.”

He said a significant cache of information had been attained through the raids.


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