It’s really pretty simple. Foreign backpackers go to Australia. For several weeks, they’ll wander the country, get drunk and … I don’t know … go to the opera. When the trip’s over, these visitors file fake income claims, which get them thousands of dollars in tax refunds – despite not having actually worked (and thus not having paid any taxes).
Through word of mouth, and probably a few blog posts, word has spread, and it’s really kicking Aussie authorities in the wallet. And, the government is powerless. By the time they catch up with fraudsters, there usually isn’t much money left. Off course, the amounts are known to be too small for the Australian Tax Office to pursue them overseas.
But, this is illegal. Of the hundreds of thousands of backpackers who visited Australia last year, 44 were prosecuted successfully. Knowing my luck, I would have been one of them.