TV presenter jailed for GST fraud of $1.7m

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A former TV presenter and beauty queen,  has been accused of failing to register for GST and lodge BAS despite flipping properties for profit.
According to the ATO, beauty queen was knowingly carrying on an enterprise, Semco Developments Pty Ltd, as a property development company to purchase, renovate and sell houses, and has dishonestly evaded paying over $1.7 million in GST.
“This wasn’t a one-off property sale; this is a case of someone deliberately carrying on an enterprise without meeting their tax obligations,” assistant commissioner Ian Read said.
“People like this are obtaining an unfair advantage over Australians who are doing the right thing and robbing the Australian economy of revenue that could have been spent on essential services. Tax crime is not victimless and we will not tolerate when people try to cheat the tax system.”

The Tax Authority reported that between 2005 and 2011, she purchased, developed and sold 10 luxury properties in Toorak, Portsea and Caulfield North for profit. She sold these properties for more than $20 million and made a total profit of more than $4.4 million.

She claimed the properties were for personal use, but according to the ATO she should have been registered for GST, lodging business activity statements (BAS) and reporting the property sales.

“If you are buying, selling or developing a property that isn’t your primary residence, you have tax obligations,” Mr Read said.

Beauty was convicted of 10 offences of dishonestly causing a loss to the Commonwealth contrary to section 135.1 (5) of the Criminal Code (Commonwealth).