$16k fine for GST-dodger

A FINLEY man has been fined more than $16,000 for failing to lodge GST returns.

Gordon James Mudge failed to attend Albury Local Court yesterday on 11 charges of refusing or failing to provide required information to the tax office — from July 1, 2009 to March 31 this year.

Mudge, 53, of Finley Street, was told in August of the pending charges and no reply was received.

Magistrate Megan Greenwood was told Mudge had been advised by letter that the matters would be put to the court yesterday.

Tax office prosecutor Don Fraser sought to proceed in Mudge’s absence.

“The returns still have not been lodged,” Mr Fraser said.

Ms Greenwood convicted Mudge on each charge. She imposed a $770 fine for the first matter and $1550 fines for the other 10 offences.

Court costs were added to the fines that totalled $16,320.

Ms Greenwood said Mudge’s conduct must be denounced and deterrence was an important issue in such matters.

She also ordered Mudge to comply with tax office requests for lodging of the returns.