The ATO focus their attention on the area of CRANBOURNE, Victoria.
… and their message is clear: “If your business causes us concern, expect to hear from us.”
Over the coming month, representatives from the Australian Taxation Office are visiting hundreds of businesses in targeted areas, one area being Cranbourne, Victoria.
If you operate a business in Cranbourne or surrounding area, it is highly likely you will receive an unannounced visit or a request for a meeting from an ATO representative.
For your convenience, we have provided the ATO’s detailed message to Cranbourne businesses below, sourced directly from the ATO website:
Protecting honest business
We know most business owners are honest and that running a business can be difficult.
Unfortunately, there are businesses that gain an unfair advantage by not meeting all their tax and superannuation obligations. We aim to protect honest businesses from this unfair competition.
We work closely with industry associations, tax practitioners and businesses to understand any issues they may have. We use up-to-date third-party data and sophisticated risk-analysis to identify who may not be doing the right thing or may need a bit more help.
We have found that the community has less tolerance for unfair practices than it once did. If you see something, let us know so we can follow it up.
Our visits are part of our approach to protect honest businesses from unfair competition by addressing black economy activities. We will work with business and industry associations along with local authorities like chambers of commerce and councils.
We will be talking to businesses about:
- record keeping and payment facilities, registrations, outstanding lodgments, tax debts, and employer obligations such as superannuation
- how to fix mistakes
- the benefits of electronic record keeping and payment methods
- ATO tools and assistance products available for them
- any other help they may need.
The areas we’re visiting are considered to be higher risk. This could include:
- unreported or misrepresented sales
- omitting income, including missing payments and online transactions
- discrepancies between activity statements and tax returns
- businesses that are operating outside the tax system
- when lifestyle and assets don’t match up, like owning property and vehicles that they would need much higher incomes to cover
- businesses reporting outside of the business benchmarks.
If businesses need or ask for help, we will help them get back on track as well as show them the ATO tools and information available. However, if we’re concerned that a business is deliberately doing the wrong thing, we will investigate further and take any necessary action.
No matter what kind of business you have, if you’re doing the right thing, you don’t need to be concerned.
Verify or report an ATO impersonation scam
If you’re concerned about the authenticity of someone visiting your premises claiming to be from the ATO, you can phone 1800 008 540 to confirm ATO activity in your area.
The ATO representative will have official ATO Identification that they will show you. If you are still unsure call the ATO switchboard 13 28 69 and request their extension number. The ATO’s representatives phone will then ring and provide an extra layer of identification.
If you’ve made a mistake
If you realise you’ve made a mistake, or left something out, it’s better to come to us first. Reduced penalties may be applied, for example if you:
- haven’t told us about income you have earned, including cash payments
- claimed deductions you weren’t entitled to
- made any other statement to us that was false or misleading.
Expect to hear from us
Businesses that cause us concern can expect us to follow up, initially by a letter that could include recommending they:
- lodge a voluntary disclosure because we consider them to be at risk of not reporting all their income and they may be subject to an audit
- invest in an electronic payment and record keeping system to reduce the risk of mistakes and meet consumer preference
- attend ATO record keeping information sessions that are available around the country and can be booked online via the ATO website
- know their tax obligations if they have employees, such as pay-as-you-go withholding and superannuation.
For further information please visit the ATO website: https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Gen/Protecting-honest-business/
Or contact your Highview Accountant
Cranbourne: 03 5990 1000
Prahran: 03 95291566
Mornington: 03 5911 2100
Ringwood: 03 8899 9797