A Northern Rivers businessman has faced court over criminal charges relating to his failure to file tax returns.
A Northern Rivers businessman has faced court over criminal charges relating to his failure to file tax returns. contributed

Why this businessman didn't file 20 tax returns

FAILURE to file tax returns on time over a number of years has landed two men in court, one of them on 20 criminal charges.

Bradley Conner, 60, faced Lismore Local Court yesterday on 20 counts of refusing or failing to comply with a court order.

The orders arose from his failure to file six personal tax returns and 14 business activity statements, the court heard.

The prosecutor representing the Australian Taxation Office told the court the return of documents by Mr Conner, due in April, had still not occurred.

Mr Conner said during the period of time relating to the tax returns he had not completed, he had undergone bankruptcy and his marriage and business "fell apart".

"I don't have the records for that period of time for which the tax returns are required," Mr Conner said.

He told the court his business statements had been "all handled in the bankruptcy".

Magistrate Annette Sinclair scalded Mr Conner for his failure to act.

"What are the two inevitabilities of life, Mr Conner? Death and taxes," Ms Sinclair said.

When he was grilled by the magistrate on whether he had sought any advice or help from the tax office, debt counselling services or any other relevant organisation, the Tweed Heads man conceded he had not.

"Even if you get fined $100 on each of (the charges), there's still 20 of them," she said.

"You're not helping yourself by not doing anything.

"You haven't done anything. That's why you're at court today."

Mr Conner told the court he'd been "bordering on homeless" and was hospitalised after an accident.

Ms Sinclair adjourned the matter until November 26.

Another man, Glen Winton, 58, also faced the court yesterday on five counts of refusing or failing to return information when required.

The court heard he hadn't lodged a tax return for five years although he'd addressed this, and nabbed a $345 tax refund, Ms Sinclair fined him $700 for his offences.


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