Australia markets close in 4 hours 2 minutes
  • ALL ORDS

    7,057.10
    +42.10 (+0.60%)
     
  • ASX 200

    6,781.90
    +39.30 (+0.58%)
     
  • AUD/USD

    0.7711
    +0.0015 (+0.20%)
     
  • OIL

    53.17
    +0.19 (+0.36%)
     
  • GOLD

    1,842.00
    +1.80 (+0.10%)
     
  • BTC-AUD

    47,106.43
    +648.06 (+1.39%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    721.20
    +6.00 (+0.84%)
     
  • AUD/EUR

    0.6347
    +0.0007 (+0.11%)
     
  • AUD/NZD

    1.0822
    +0.0014 (+0.13%)
     
  • NZX 50

    12,941.67
    +60.36 (+0.47%)
     
  • NASDAQ

    12,996.54
    +192.60 (+1.50%)
     
  • FTSE

    6,712.95
    -7.70 (-0.11%)
     
  • Dow Jones

    30,930.52
    +116.26 (+0.38%)
     
  • DAX

    13,815.06
    -33.29 (-0.24%)
     
  • Hang Seng

    29,642.28
    +779.51 (+2.70%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    28,643.88
    +10.42 (+0.04%)
     

Man cops $640k fine, 7 months’ jail for dodgy tax returns

Jessica Yun
·2-min read
Close convicted man with handcuffs behind grids
(Source: Getty)

A man who unlawfully prepared and lodged thousands of tax returns has been fined $640,000 and sentenced to 7.5 months in jail.

In November 2018, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) raided Brisbane-based Kent Scott Hacker’s office and found evidence that Hacker had been lodging dodgy tax returns while being unregistered with the Tax Practitioner’s Board (TPB).

The evidence was enough for the TPB to launch a Federal Court action against Hacker and his two companies in February 2019.

Hacker was ultimately sentenced on 18 December 2020 – but during the investigation was uncooperative, continuing to act illegally while investigation and litigation were still underway.

While proceedings were being launched, Hacker told the Federal Court he would stop providing paid tax agent services to clients.

But despite Hacker’s undertaking, he continued to do so, and TPB was enforced a court order that ordered Hacker to display large notices at his office warning Australians of the risks of using his services.

Not only that, but in June 2020 the Federal Court found Hacker repeatedly in contempt of court and had personally contravened the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 45 times.

“For nearly two years, Mr Hacker has brazenly and consistently ignored court orders and his behaviour has put his clients at risk and undermined the integrity of the taxation system,” said TPB chair Ian Klug.

“The TPB will continue to target unregistered preparers to ensure the professional and ethical standards of the tax profession is maintained.”

Those who act outside the law will be “act[ed] firmly against,” Klug added.

“The sentencing, fines of over $640,000 and the imprisonment of Mr Hacker, sends a strong message to other rogue advisers and the community that illegal acts of this nature will not be tolerated.”

Want 2021 to be your best (financial) year yet? Follow Yahoo Finance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to the free Fully Briefed daily newsletter here.