The saying goes that there is nothing as certain as death and taxes, but that doesn’t stop people from trying to avoid both. Although paying taxes is inevitable, we all expect to be treated fairly by the ATO.
The ATO is committed to ensure that everyone meets their tax obligations, and to ensure that those who do pay their fair share are not disadvantaged by those who do not. The ATO published a taxpayers’ charter which explains what taxpayers’ obligations and rights are:
The Taxpayers’ Obligations : Being Truthful & Keeping the Required Records
The ATO system is based on what it calls “self-assessment”, simply meaning that each taxpayer has to provide the ATO the information it needs to work out their tax liability. This might sound like a system that totally relies on a taxpayers’ honesty, however checks have been put in place to make sure taxpayers report all taxable income, and keep back up evidence for claims to reduce your tax. Nowadays most of the information to be included in your tax return is provided to the ATO by financial institutions and other government bodies.
The Taxpayers’ Rights : Privacy & Explanations
Along with the commitment of treating you fairly and reasonably, the ATO also acknowledge that we all have a right to privacy, and is committed to keep your personal information confidential. By law, the ATO can disclose certain information to third parties for specific purposes, such as to determine an eligibility for government benefits.
All taxpayers have the right to get a written statement setting out the reasons for decisions the ATO makes about their tax affairs. The ATO is also legally bound to provide a review of most decisions, and if you’re still not satisfied, you could get help from the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
For more information regarding your obligations and rights, please refer to the Taxpayer’s Charter on the ATO website.
SMSF Snr Accountant – OPTIMA PARTNERS
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