Mobilising the ATO in Surry Hills & Darlinghurst

The Australian Taxation Office will be in town on Thursday 26 July talking to local small businesses to ensure they have the support they need to get their tax and super right.

Businesses are invited to attend a one-hour information session at either 9:30am to 10:30am or 4:30pm to 5:30pm, and a record keeping information session at 10:45am to 11:45am, to be held at Vibe Hotel, 111 Goulburn Street, Sydney.

Assistant Commissioner Matthew Bambrick said, “We’re here to help Australian businesses manage their tax and super correctly and make sure all businesses get a fair go. Those that don’t pay the correct amount of tax make it harder for other businesses.”

The information sessions come ahead of the ATO’s mobile business visits to businesses in the Surry Hills/Darlinghurst area over the coming weeks.

“Last year we visited just under 6,000 businesses across the country and around one in three of those needed to take some kind of corrective action,” Mr Bambrick said.

“The main issues we’re seeing are with basic recording keeping, outstanding lodgements and unpaid super guarantee or wages. Employers need to make sure they’re doing the right thing by paying their employees’ wages and super correctly.”

ATO findings and recent research also indicate around 10 per cent of businesses operate solely in cash. Cash-only businesses raise a red flag with the ATO that income may not be accurately reported.

“We’ve seen cash from sales being put in boxes or straight into wallets without proper record keeping. Some businesses have admitted to us that they’ve guessed their income because they don’t keep good records and that’s just not fair to most other businesses that are doing the right thing,” Mr Bambrick said.

“Some basic tips include making sure family and friends who help out in a business are receiving the pay and super that they’re legally entitled to, keeping business and personal income separate, and thinking about using an electronic record keeping system – it will save you time in the long run.

“We understand that people are busy and most businesses are trying to meet their obligations. We do however understand the difference between needing help, making a mistake and deliberate cover-ups. Where we’re concerned that a business is deliberately doing the wrong thing, we have an obligation to the community to investigate further.

“It’s also interesting that while we’re out in the community people are willing to tell us about others not doing the right thing, including paying cash wages and not recording all sales. The community as a whole is concerned and want those who try to seek an unfair advantage to be held accountable.”

In the first six months of 2017-18, the ATO raised $143 million in tax liabilities and penalties from its cash and hidden economy compliance activities.

The ATO uses a range of measures to prevent, detect and deter tax evasion including data matching, small business benchmarking, reviews and audits. —


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