Guest Speaker: IAN FARGHER, PhD (8th June 2018)

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Ian has recently completed his PhD in Forensic Accounting, with a thesis related to ‘Wealth Legislation”. His story outlined his long term career with the ATO and teaching/research terms with UOW and the Sydney Business School. His talk today focused on Australia’s introduction of the GST
Interestingly, The goods and services tax (GST) is a comprehensive value-added tax (VAT) on goods and services. France was the first country to introduce this system in 1954. Today, it has spread to over 140 countries.  Broadly speaking Australia’s GST ” is a broad-based tax of 10% on the supply of most goods, services and anything else consumed.”
Ian was a key player in the implementation of the GST after a meeting of Tax Accountants held at the Ridges Hotel in 2000.  The key management of the GST was in terms of the BALANCE between the consumer and the producer and early compliance and so Ian then outlined some Major issues of overseeing and forensically assessing the correct balance as required by the ATO.
Of course names had to be with withheld to protect the innocents ( guilty??) but we were certainly entertained by tales of:

‘the kid who was on a pension and wanted to withdraw $5,000 out of his account…that was then discovered as having a balance of $5million”
“The sale of Intellectual property, Emergency Services and the Boggo Road gaol”
“A ship in dock mysteriously registered in the ATO’s name (and unknown to the ATO) which when finally boarded as part of the forensic investigation, was totally devoid of everything including the engines.   AND
“How you can use shipping containers to cargo  large wine consignments”  (Mark Hampton was particularly “all ears” on that story) and how it was all discovered by “weighing in” strategies.
” how to make money on “scratching” your gold bullions”  AND  the biggest of all …
” The Cranston Affair”
The biggest white-collar fraud racket in Australian history unravelled after 300 federal police officers raided 28 properties and arrested nine people, including the son and daughter of Australian Taxation Office Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston” (SMH)

No doubt Ian’s PhD Thesis, could be turned into a Best Seller, we’ll have to wait and see.

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