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Taxation Assignment: Digital Payment Threats

Question

Assignment Overview :Select a topic from the topic list at the end of this document. Research your topic and write a report analysing the technical, social, legal aspects. For each topic your report will need to identify problems (or crimes) that may occur then recommend actions that can be taken to prevent the problem from occurring, identify the problem has occurred, what steps can be taken to remedy the problem, and what actions can be taken towards the perpetrators of the problem. Reference original laws (e.g. common law) or court cases. Provide all references (Journals, web links, etc). Where possible, identify all laws applicable in each region (Australian-Pacific, Europe, America, and Asia).

Answer

Executive Summary
In the modern times of digital technology, most of the official tasks are being conducted using the online platform. Due to the fast-paced modern life, people have been preferring the online and digital mode for fulfilment of all kinds of tasks using the online media. In the same manner, Australian Tax services have also integrated the online and digital technologies, thereby resulting in the creation of the Australian Tax Online services that have provided the residents and other tax payers of Australia to fulfil all the tasks associated with their tax purposes. However, it is observed in this taxation assignment that there are certain issues that have emerged due to the integration of digital technology in every aspect of payments associated with taxation and superannuation. It is recommended in this taxation assignment prevent the same and overcome the issue, it is important to integrate the different security measures so as to prevent any kind of fraud associated with tax payment.

Introduction
The technological evolution that has been taking place across the world has been benefiting the operations of most of the organisations. The increasing use of internet and other digital technologies have resulted in the integration of the same in the business operations of most of the business firms, including government and public agencies. In the modern times of digital technology, most of the official tasks are being conducted using the online platform. Due to the fast-paced modern life, people have been preferring the online and digital mode for fulfilment of all kinds of tasks using the online media. However, there has also been a rise in several cyber crime activities that have increased simultaneously (Taylor, Fritsch and Liederbach, 2014). As a result of the same, many people have been misusing the online and digital technology for their own benefits, and in many cases have been found to have negative impact on lives of others. Similar cases have been observed in the case of Australian Tax Online services, whereby people have been evading the payment of their taxes by manipulating the information that are uploaded by them on the online servers. Similar case has been observed in the Australian Tax Online services and the same has been discussed in details in the following taxation assignment.

Topic description
The development of technologies and the resulting innovations have been driving changes in the operations processes of most of the organisations, operating across the world. Most of the official tasks are now being conducted using the digital and online platform, which has enabled the individuals to fulfil any of their official tasks with the ease of being at any location of their convenience and avoid the hassle of personally visiting the office. As a result of the same, several of the government offices and agencies have also integrated the digital and online technologies into their daily operations and several other such tasks, so that the general public are able to avail the services without much difficulties (Saha, Nath and Salehi-Sangari, 2012). In the same manner, Australian Tax services have also integrated the online and digital technologies, thereby resulting in the creation of the Australian Tax Online services that have provided the residents and other tax payers of Australia to fulfil all the tasks associated with their tax purposes (Stafford and Turan, 2011). With the help of Australian Tax Online services, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have been successful in improving their tax and superannuation systems, thereby making itself a more service-oriented organisation. The organisation provides services to the different business and organisations as per their functioning and area of operations. The organisation also has its collaboration with different digital service providers and superannuation industries, so that they are able to provide seamless services to the individuals and firms that require its services. With the help of digital technology, the process of taxation has simplified for the general public and has benefitted the community of Australia. However, there are certain issues that have emerged due to the integration of digital technology in every aspect of payments associated with taxation and superannuation (Australian Taxation Office, 2017). There have emerged a large number of fraud cases whereby individuals have been evading the payment of their taxes by providing falsified information regarding their incomes and finances, thereby evading the taxes or by paying less taxes. Similar incident has been observed in the fraud case of Adam Cranston, son of Michael Cranston, whereby a tax amount $165 million was allegedly evaded by him. As Australian Taxation Office was undergoing a transformation of integrating the online and digital technology with their tax payment system (Daniel and Stuart, 2017).

Problem or crime
People deliberately attempt to escape the payment of tax to the government of the country which is a serious offence of fraud under the criminal substantive law of the country covering “section 134.1(1) Criminal Code—dishonestly obtaining Commonwealth property, section 134.2(1) Criminal Code—obtain financial advantage by deception and section 135.4(3) Criminal Code—dishonestly cause a loss to the Commonwealth.”

The section 134.1 talks about obtaining property of the Commonwealth by the way of deception. A person is charged with this crime if he or she with dishonesty, by using deception steals the property that belongs to other (the Commonwealth) and the person has the intention 2D price the owner of the property permanently from using it. Section 134.2 of the criminal court talks about the crime that occurs when an individual with intention and knowledge of teens financial advantage through deception, acquiring the property of the Commonwealth entity either for themselves or for others. For example to obtain the financial advantage by the use of deception and placing injury to the property of the Commonwealth entity one may lie about their status of employment on the centrelink form for receiving pension, one may lie about the relationship status on the form of centrelink for gaining higher allowances or one may lie about the capacity of working for obtaining a disability pension. The section 135.1 of the criminal court of Australia is concerned with the loss of the Commonwealth caused by dishonesty by the taxpayers of the country. A person is said to have been committed the offence under section 135. One of the criminal court if he or she has committed the offence of intentionally obtaining profit from another person by the means of dishonesty and the other person who is aggrieved is the entity of Commonwealth.

Recently it was found that one of most senior tax officials of Australia was entangled in a major fraud case involving his son where the accused allegedly stole 165 million dollars from the entity of Commonwealth. An attendance notice has been issued by the court against the deputy ATO Commissioner Adam Cranston, while his son, Adam Cranston, the accused was arrested in Sydney. It was a part of a sting operation done by the Australian Federal police. Sports cars, planes, fine wines and artwork were among the toys of the rich boy and luxury products that was found in possession of Adam Crantone, of which tax was fraudulently stolen from the commonweal entity as reported by the Australian Federal Police. Allegedly, the substances mentioned above were purchased by Adam Cranston as part of the huge conspiracy of tax fraud (ABC News, 2018).

Prevention/detection
The issue associated with the online frauds that have been detected have resulted in the rise of concern regarding the ethical use of online technologies for paying their taxes. In the case of Adam Cranston, the fraud of tax payment that had emerged, has resulted as Adam had the appropriate knowledge of evading the tax payments and hiding his assets as his father Michael Cranston was associated with Australian Taxation Office (Daniel and Stuart, 2017). However, the same could have been prevented or detected earlier if the Australian Tax Online service system offered by Australian Taxation Office was properly updated and security system was appropriately integrated, especially with respect to the online tax payment database. Furthermore, Australian Tax Online services could also use the cloud services for storing all the tax payers’ information, which should be secured through encryptions and authorisation channels so that no unauthorised personnel is able to access the information and steal or make changes in it, thereby preserving its integrity and originality.

There are other ways of affecting the Australian Tax Online service, which would include cyber attack and hacking into the system and stealing the user information or diverting their payment into their own accounts via different channels. However, the tax payers could evade this issue by accessing the website through Incognito Tab mode that is offered by Google Chrome, to make their payments (Ohana and Shashidhar, 2013). This would block the cyber attacker or hacker from accessing their network, thereby preventing any kind of cybercrime associated with payments. With the help such similar technologies, such tax frauds can be prevented. Therefore, Australian Tax Online services should adopt such similar measures so as to prevent any further tax frauds and preserve the information of the tax payers.

Action/response consequences
If a person has if a person has committed an offence under section 134.1 of the criminal code act 1955, he or she will be punished with the penalty of 10 years of imprisonment. Absolute liability will be applied when a crime has been committed under this particular section of the criminal code. If an individual has committed an offence under section 134.2 after Commonwealth criminal code of Australia, he or she will be liable to pay the penalty of maximum 10 years of imprisonment if anyone is found guilty of committing the offence of obtaining financial disadvantage with the means of deception. The offence of Commonwealth of obtaining financial advantage by employing deception is an offence that is heard generally in the magistrate’s court (Legislation.gov.au, 2018). However, is the quantum of the amount of money that has been received with fruit is more than $100,000 then the case shall be heard by the county court. If a person has committed an offence under the section of 135. 1 of the criminal code act, 1955, then the court may give a penalty of maximum 5 years of imprisonment to the guilty who has being charged for dishonestly causing lost to the entity of Commonwealth. As the term of imprisonment of 5 years is a maximum penalty to this offence under section 135.1 of the criminal code act, and imprisonment of five years will only be awarded to the worst cases of criminal offence in this matter. The courts will be evaluating the severity is of the criminal behaviour that will help in determining the penalty that will prove to be appropriate in degree to be imposed upon the person who is guilty of committing the offence.

As the case (matter of Cranston) that has been mentioned above under the topic of “problem or crime”, the court has held that the senior deputy ATO Commissioner, Michael Cranston is being charged with the offence of abusing his position as an official of the public in relation to the fraud, even though he is not believed to have taken part in the conspiracy. The accused, Adam Cranston, is charged with the conspiracy of defrauding the Commonwealth (ABC News, 2018).

Conclusion
Integration of digital technology in the Australian Tax payment system has been beneficial for both the taxation department as well as the tax payer. Australian Tax Online services have provided a valuable platform for the tax payers to pay their taxes, thereby avoiding the visit to the tax office and waiting in the queue to make the payment. However, it is observed in this taxation assignment there has also emerged several issues whereby many individuals have been evading their tax payments by manipulating their digital records. Therefore, it is recommended in this taxation assignment that it is important to integrate suitable technologies to prevent frauds that are associated with tax evasion. Taxation assignments are being prepared by our IT assignment help experts from top universities which let us to provide you a reliable online assignment help service.

Reference List
ABC News. (2018). ATO official facing charges over son's alleged involvement in $165m fraud. [online] Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-18/ato-deputy-commissioner-entangled-in-fraud-investigation/8536288 [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018].

ABC News. (2018). How alleged tax fraudsters splurged millions living the high life. [online] Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-18/how-the-afp-investigation-into-ato-fraud-unfolded/8536784 [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018].

Australian Taxation Office, 2017. Reinventing the ATO. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 September 2018].

Daniel, S and Stuart, R., 2017. ATO fraud case: How did the investigation into the alleged $165m theft unfold?. [online] ABC News. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 September 2018].

Legislation.gov.au. (2018). Criminal Code Act 1995. [online] Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2017C00235 [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018].

Ohana, D.J. and Shashidhar, N., 2013. Do private and portable web browsers leave incriminating evidence?: a forensic analysis of residual artifacts from private and portable web browsing sessions. EURASIP Journal on Information Security, 2013(1), p.6.

Saha, P., Nath, A.K. and Salehi-Sangari, E., 2012. Evaluation of government e-tax websites: an information quality and system quality approach. Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, 6(3), pp.300-321.

Stafford, T.F. and Turan, A.H., 2011. Online tax payment systems as an emergent aspect of governmental transformation. European Journal of Information Systems, 20(3), pp.343-357.

Taylor, R.W., Fritsch, E.J. and Liederbach, J., 2014. Digital crime and digital terrorism. Prentice Hall Press.

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