SELF EMPLOYED – ATO DATA MATCHING IS TARGETING YOU!
The ATO is taking full advantage of their new data matching capabilities and have independent contractors firmly in their sights!
Industry lobbyists’ say the coalition is being just as hard on the self employed as the former Labour government was, despite promises to be friendlier to small business.
The ATO will cross-check information, such as Australian Business Numbers and amounts paid to contractors, from about 25,000 different data matching sources. They will look to identify non compliance with registration, lodgment, reporting and payment obligations under the taxation laws.
The ATO has recently come under fire for the way it treats small business taxpayers. A Federal enquiry into the disputes has heard from dozens of small business owners who say they have, in the past, been intimidated, made bankrupt and some have suffered mental breakdowns and contemplated suicide after drawn out disputes with the ATO. In addition, the Inspector General of Taxation said in a recent review that the ATO has opened itself up to allegations of favourtism as it cuts deals with the top end of town, but not with small business, which lack the resources to effectively dispute claims.
The ATO has combatted this negative feedback by introducing some new initiatives to help small business, because it understands that meeting your obligations takes you away from your real business and what you are good at!
The new initiatives are:
- An after hours call back service to operate between 6pm and 9pm weekdays.
- A small business fix it squad which is a rapid design group made up of small business operators, intermediaries and representatives from local, state and federal government, all working together to examine problems and solutions from the perspective of small business.
- A new business friendly approach to managing small business debt.
- A new small business newsroom giving taxpayers a one stop shop where they can get tax and superannuation news and alerts.
- From October, the ATO will pilot a web chat service for taxpayers accessing information via its Small Business Assist online tool.
In relation to small business, the ATO said it was undergoing cultural change and attempting to resolve disputes with taxpayers more quickly.
The Independent Contractors of Australia group state the ATO are simply trying to hose down their critics, but they still have an underlying culture of oppression and aggression towards self employed people. They believe the ATO needs to have imposed upon them the most radical of shake-ups!
We believe that as long as small business owners are lodging and paying the correct tax on their income tax returns and Business Activity Statements, the data matching program will not impact, just be fully aware of the new capabilities within the ATO to find errors in your reporting if you are not doing the right thing!
Director -OPTIMA PARTNERS