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Serious Financial Crime Taskforce tackles cybercrime, offshore tax evasion and illegal phoenix activity

1 December 2020

The Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT) is an Australian Taxation Office (ATO) led multi-agency taskforce established in 2015. It brings together the knowledge, resources and experience of law enforcement and regulatory agencies to identify, prioritise and treat the threats posed by serious financial crime. 

The SFCT targets the most serious financial crimes, including technology-enabled tax crime (cybercrime), offshore tax evasion and illegal phoenix activity and recently serious financial crime affecting the Commonwealth Coronavirus Economic Response Package.

How does AUSTRAC work as part of the SFCT?

  1. Dedicated AUSTRAC officers provide intelligence analysis to the taskforce. Our analysts use sophisticated data matching and data analytics to identify complex and interconnected financial networks.
  2. AUSTRAC’s extensive data holdings on international transfers provides unique insights when investigating potential offshore tax evasion.
  3. Collectively, as of 30 September 2020 the SFCT has progressed cases that have resulted in:
  • 1,258 audits and reviews completed
  • $972 million in tax liabilities raised
  • $375 million in outstanding revenue recouped.
  1. Over the next six to twelve months, the relationship between ATO and AUSTRAC’s Fintel Alliance will be strengthened further. This means we’ll be able to give you more information about the financial indicators of tax crimes. 
  2. In May 2020, our financial intelligence analysis identified a network of individuals involved in superannuation fraud, which we referred to the SFCT to enable a joint response. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigated further, identifying a suspect as potentially having facilitated the scheme on behalf of individuals. An individual was charged with two counts of forgery and two counts of using a forged document.

Find out more at the ATO’s Serious Financial Crime Taskforce web page.