Business owner didn’t file tax returns for 10 years


A ROCKHAMPTON business woman who dodged the Australian Taxation Office for almost 10 years is now on a disability support pension living off the very system she avoided.

Sonya May Galvin was slapped with a $35,000 fine after she pleaded guilty to 34 offences of failing to comply with orders to lodge income tax returns and business activity statements between September 2009 and June 2016.

Galvin argued that health and family issues had prevented her from filing the returns, but by the time she was sentenced in May 2019, she had still not lodged any returns or statements.

Galvin appealed her fine in the Rockhampton District Court where, in a court judgment published online in December, it was revealed she has been getting disability support pension from Centrelink.

She appealed her sentence on the grounds that the fine was excessive and the magistrate had been misinformed by the prosecutor as to the maximum penalty for each charge.

Judge Vicky Loury granted the appeal on the grounds that the maximum penalty had been wrongfully inflated by 17 per cent and set aside the $35,000 fine, noting that Galvin had "no capacity" to pay it.

She re-sentenced Galvin to six months' jail, to be suspended after a $1000 recognisance was signed, as well as a two-year good behaviour bond.

Judge Loury said the "more severe" punishment was to reflect "very serious" offences that caused a "greater burden being placed upon the rest of the community to fund the very payment that (Galvin) now seeks to live on."

"There is nothing, in my view, in the conduct of the appellant that suggests that she is remorseful or that even she is unlikely to reoffend in a similar way," she said. - NewsRegional