The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ruled that the ATO was correct to issue tax assessments of $3.7 million and penalties of $3.3 million to a business taxpayer that had underreported its income and failed to lodge several years worth of tax returns. The taxpayer, PSI Pty Ltd, argued that it owned and rented out several Sydney properties, but did not engage in other business activities or receive the significant amounts of income that the ATO had assessed to it.
In fact, evidence before the Tribunal showed that PSI made a range of expensive capital purchases, including fitness equipment, more than 30 motor vehicles, firearms and a “bomb dog”. Its bank statements included references to “consultation fees”, “gun licences” and a “security industry register”, a loan application suggested income 20 times what the taxpayer admitted to earning, and PSI had apparently made significant loans to related parties with no returns.
The Tribunal upheld the assessments and penalties issued, and allowed the ATO to impose an extra 20% penalty for two of the taxpayer’s income years.