Tax scam contractors voice their frustration

The Australian, May 26, 2017

Contractors paid through the company at the centre of the alleged $165 million Australian Taxation Office fraud say they have been left in limbo, with little help from government agencies including the ATO and Fair Work Ombudsman.

More than 6000 contractors signed up with Plutus Payroll, with many attracted by the company’s “zero fee” policy and free health insurance.

Many are owed thousands in wages, superannuation, health insurance and novated car and laptop leases, while others have extra money they know is not theirs in accounts and will likely have to pay it back.

Last night, a small group of IT contractors who used Plutus met in Canberra to express their frustration at the lack of assistance received. The men are part of a Facebook group of more than 200 affected contractors.

“Fair Work were no help, and the ATO can’t help us,” said contractor John Williams.

A law firm is holding a meeting for concerned contractors in Canberra today.

“A cynical person might say they’re ambulance chasing, but we’ve got a heap of questions and we’ll go along hoping they might have a few answers,” Mr Williams said.

Mr Williams is actually several thousand dollars in the black, having been paid extra when second-tier firms that allegedly skimmed small amounts of monthly PAYG payments got wind of the Australian Federal Police investigation and emptied their accounts.