Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Tax Fraud

Tax Fraud

We prosecute a significant number of tax and fraud schemes that relate to income tax and GST. 

We prosecute taxation fraud referred by the serious non-compliance area of the ATO, the AFP and the ACIC, as well as regulatory offences under taxation legislation.

The ATO prosecutes straight-forward regulatory offences but if a matter becomes a defended hearing, it refers the matter to us.

GST prosecutions vary in sophistication from small-scale fraud to large, complex schemes.

We prosecute those who exploit the system by, for example, failing to report cash income or falsifying claims for GST credits.

Prosecuting fraud against the Australian taxation system continues to make up a significant part of our practice. Such prosecutions are important to maintaining public confidence in the tax system. 

Project Wickenby

Between February 2006 and June 2015, a Commonwealth cross agency taskforce known as Project Wickenby was established to combat international tax evasion. It was the largest tax evasion investigation ever run in Australia’s history and netted $2.29 billion in tax liabilities and recouped $985.67 million in outstanding revenue.

Key legislation

Main offences

  • s.134.1(1) Criminal Code—dishonestly obtaining Commonwealth property
  • s.134.2(1) Criminal Code—obtain financial advantage by deception
  • s.135.4(3) Criminal Code—dishonestly cause a loss to the Commonwealth


  • The maximum penalty for offences against sections 134.1(1), 134.2(1) and 135.4(3) of the Criminal Code is 10 years’ imprisonment.

Partner agencies

Practice Group Instructions (PGI)

PGI CFC No. 3 – PDF icon <u><font color="#0066cc">Dishonesty offences under the Criminal Code</font></u>

PGI RBF No. 3 – PDF icon <u><font color="#0066cc">Charging under section 8C(1)(a) of the Taxation Administration Act 1953</font></u>