A MELBOURNE import business is to pay almost $2m in penalties, recovered duty and GST after an investigation into the undervaluation of imported pre-galvanised steel products from several different countries.
The investigation by the Australian Border Force’s Compliance Audits Unit started in March and, according to an ABF statement, uncovered “a complex and systemic process” to falsify documents to conceal the nature of the goods and avoid the payment of Duty and GST between 2014 and 2017.
The investigation culminated with ABF officers issuing 49 infringement notices. The total value of the infringement penalties was $353,250.
The importer was also required to repay $397,726 in short-paid duty and $1,200,404 in short-paid GST. The total amount to be paid is $1,951,380.
ABF acting Assistant Commissioner for Port Operations Command, Claire Rees, said the penalties reflected the severity of the evasions.
“At the end of the day importers who don’t pay the correct amount of duty and GST are depriving the Australian economy and ultimately Australian taxpayers,” acting Assistant Commissioner Rees said.
“This result is a testament to the professionalism of ABF officers who work diligently to ensure importers comply with Australia’s trade reporting and revenue collection requirements. It is about providing a level playing field for both industry and consumers.
“Failure to comply can result in severe penalties, as occurred in this case, or the suspension or cancellation of Department issued licences and potentially prosecution.”