Tax fraud has “tarnished” the ATO: Chris Jordan

Tax fraud has “tarnished” the ATO: Chris Jordan
Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan has conceded that the $165 million Plutus tax scandal has “tarnished” the reputation of Australian Taxation Office.

In a speech to the national press club yesterday, Mr Jordan said the Plutus case had also destroyed the career of former deputy commissioner Michael Cranston, who has been charged by the Australian Federal Police following his son’s alleged role in the scam.

“The involvement of Adam Cranston, son of the deputy commission Michael Cranston, has been difficult to comprehend,” Mr Jordan said.

“The charges against Michael Cranston had been equally hard to believe and at the ATO we are dismayed at the events that have unfolded in this regard.

“The connection with and alleged actions because of his son have ruined his career and his reputation and have compromised our standings and raised questions about the integrity of others within the ATO. This is a precarious situation.

“For Michael Cranston, the tension that drives a father to ignore the faults of their child, to want to help them no matter what, was overlaid by the overwhelming guilt and recriminations that are inevitable in any family breakup.”

In his address, the first by a tax commissioner in the 50-year history of the press club, Mr Jordan stressed that Michael Cranston was not suspected of being involved in the syndicate.

Describing what had happened as “ugly, Mr Jordan conceded: “It has tarnished us”.

Still, the ATO has a few other problems that could “tarnish” its reputation.

On Wednesday, the ATO announced its portals, myTax and other online services would be taken offline to resolve “some intermittent system issues”.

‘We’ll provide an update when the services are once again available. We apologise for the inconvenience,’ the ATO tweeted.


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