Queanbeyan cleaner jailed for $260,000 tax dodge

A Queanbeyan man has been sentenced to three years in prison after he defrauded the tax office of more than a quarter of a million dollars.

Kelvin Mark Skeers, 55, of Karabar, was convicted in the Queanbeyan District Court of six charges of lodging misleading tax returns for his cleaning business, KS Cleaning.

Skeers will serve a non-parole period of one year and eight months and was ordered to pay back the $262,076.19.

Court documents show that between January 2009 and September 2013, the defendant’s business serviced several hotels and businesses across Canberra and Queanbeyan.

Payments were made from these businesses to Skeers’ bank account quoting his Australian Business Number, but he claimed no tax needed to be paid in 56 statements lodged.

KS Cleaning was paid nearly $3 million from five businesses in this period and declared no tax. Police allegations tendered in court said each statement was false.

They also said Skeers charged GST for cleaning services but pocketing it for himself. KS Cleaning’s highest GST inclusive charge was more than $1.95 million paid by the Canberra Motor Village.

Skeers then used his financial position to buy an $8000 car from that business in O’Connor, offsetting the amount from what was owed.

He was also paid a GST inclusive fee from the Canberra-based Capital Executive Apartment Hotel and the Parklands Hotel and Apartments and the Queanbeyan-based Airport International Hotel and the Queanbeyan Bowling Club.

Skeers provided invoices to each of these businesses, which were all handed over to the ATO. According to court documents, Skeers initially denied owning a cleaning business when the tax office began investigating him in September 2014.

When asked if he owned the ABN connected to it, he said “Yes, but it [the business] never actually got off the ground.” A later search warrant at his home found extensive evidence related to payments to his bank account and invoices.