The Field Group

Accounting Blog
the field group accounting

The ATO Targets Outlaw Motor Cycle Gang Members


Source – Wikipedia

Two hundred Outlaw Motor Cycle Gang members have been served notices by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for failing to comply with their tax obligations.  We hope for the sake of the ATO staff the notices were delivered by mail!

There are not a lot of details about exactly what type of income the ATO is targeting but tax law does not differentiate between legally and illegally earned income: If you earn income, you pay tax. Simple.  An English tax law case back in 1886 set the precedent with Justice Denman stating, “In my opinion if a man were to make a systematic business of receiving stolen goods, and to do nothing else, and he thereby systematically carried on a business and made a profit of 2000 per year, the Income Tax Commissioners would be quite right in assessing him if it were in fact his vocation.”

The difference between legally and illegally derived income is that you can’t claim losses or expenses if you have been convicted of an indictable offence related to that business activity.

The operation targeting the bikers is part of a joint taskforce with the Australian Federal Police. Data matching technology in recent years has helped identify movements of cash and income from undeclared and often illegal activities. The ‘follow the cash’ philosophy works well and often results in frozen bank accounts, disrupted cash flows and supply chains, which impacts on the overall viability of illegal activities.


This document contains general advice only and is prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial circumstances and needs.  The information provided is not a substitute for legal, tax and financial product advice.  Before making any decision based on this information, you should speak to a licensed financial advisor who should assess its relevance to your individual circumstances.  While The Field Group believes the information is accurate, no warranty is given as to its accuracy and persons who rely on this information do so at their own risk.  The information provided in this bulletin is not considered financial product advice for the purposes of the corporations Act 2001.

Leave a Reply