The first large-scale
crackdown by the Australian Taxation
Office on an outlaw motorcycle club, the
Rebels, has so far netted $1.7 million -
some of it 'dirty drugs money'.
DIRTY money or not, the
taxman will have his cut.
The first large-scale crackdown by
the Australian Taxation Office on an outlaw
motorcycle club, the Rebels, has so far netted $1.7
An unknown portion of this comes
from what the Australian Crime Commission calls "the
criminal activity of the Rebels' business model":
amphetamine sales, extortion rackets or the like.
But in tax law, the source of
income is "not necessarily an issue", ATO assistant
commissioner, serious non-compliance Phil Jones told
The Sunday Mail in an exclusive interview.
"Whether it's legitimate or
illegitimate, we still want tax paid."
When the ATO in the past stumbled
on illicit cash flows, it generally did not share
the information with law enforcement.
But acting as part of the ACC-led
Task Force Attero, the firewall has come down.
Mr Jones said the tax office
received a list of Rebels members nationwide and
generated its own targets through "our normal
The Rebels showed "high degrees of
non-lodgement, non-payment of outstanding tax
Some live large: last month, the
annual income of one bikie was assessed at more than
The vast majority of businesses
were in blue-collar industries, Mr Jones said.
A minority of Rebels had
sophisticated financial structures, "a combination
of trusts, companies, partnerships and super funds".
Offshore cash flows and interests
remained under investigation, Mr Jones said.
Of 117 bikies hit with tax
assessments, 34 entered payment arrangements that
might include garnished wages.
Another 35 who refused to lodge tax returns have
been referred for prosecution, and 10 of these have
been slapped by courts with $90,000 in fines since