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Eric Johnston Peter Cai

May 9, 2012 

THE government is expected to recoup $280 million from wealthy tax cheats over the next four years as it pushes ahead with Project Wickenby.

It also plans to give more ammunition to regulators to crack down on illegal activities in the markets.

The federal government will spend $77 million on the Tax Office’s high-profile Project Wickenby taskforce. Since Wickenby was launched in 2006, it has collected more than $600 million in additional tax, much from offshore havens.

The funding, over the next three years, will allow the tax taskforce to complete existing project work.

The ATO points to a $12 billion slump in money flowing out to tax havens, and the jailing of high-profile targets, such as Glenn Wheatley, as proof of Wickenby’s success. It remains frustrated by the tenacity with which well-resourced targets are able to fight through the courts.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority will be given $80 million over four years to supervise Australia’s financial system, including the implementation of global regulatory reforms.

Canberra will provide a small portion of the required funding and the rest will be extracted from APRA-regulated entities through financial sector levies.

The corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, will receive $43 million over four years to replace its market surveillance system with an enhanced system to give it better data mining and analysis capacity.

Most of the funding will not come from the government’s coffers, as market operators will be slugged additional fees of $33 million.

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