Furnissdale father nets $9000 fine for failing to complete tax returns

A FURNISSDALE father netted himself a $9000 fine at Mandurah Magistrates Court on October 6 because he failed to lodge his tax return.

The prosecuting lawyer for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) said that Mark Michael Dudley Pope became angry that his previous tax refunds had been used to satisfy a child support debt.

This is the second conviction for Pope in relation to his tax returns.

The ATO prosecuted Pope for failing to complete his tax returns on March 30.

He was convicted then of failing to complete six outstanding tax returns from the 2004 to 2011 financial years.

Pope received a $7000 fine and the ATO got a court order in an attempt to force Pope to complete the outstanding returns.

The ATO prosecutor said despite the order Pope still had not completed the return from the 2005 to 2006 financial year.

She said Pope’s refunds were used to satisfy child support debts.

The prosecutor said Pope was angry and called the ATO asking why his 2009 tax return refund had been given to child support.

She said he failed to complete the 2005 to 2006 tax return following the phone call.

Pope said he had nothing to say in regards to the incomplete return.

“I’m only on Centrelink trying to survive,” he said.

He pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the court order made on March 30.

Magistrate Vivien Edwards said the latest offence was more serious than the offence on March 30.

“In my view there needs to be a message sent to people who flaunt taxation laws and they should expect to be penalised for flouting these laws,” she said.

Pope was fined $9000 and ordered to pay $228.38 in costs.