News and Media

Whistleblower exposes ATO ‘cash grab’ targeting small businesses

10th April 2018

Two Australian Taxation Office whistleblowers have told a joint Four Corners and Fairfax investigation about a toxic internal culture where vulnerable small businesses and individuals are deliberately targeted to help meet revenue goals.

They allege unethical tactics are used for revenue raising, at the expense of correct procedure and fairness to taxpayers.

ATO debt collection officer Richard Boyle has told Four Corners that last year some staff were instructed to seize funds from the bank accounts of taxpayers assessed to owe the Tax Office money, regardless of their personal circumstances.

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ATO powers upped in new compliance laws

3rd April 2018 

The Tax Office is set to have its penalty powers increased on employers who are not compliant with superannuation guarantee requirements under new laws introduced to Parliament. Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No.4) Bill 2018, if passed, will give the ATO access to new enforcement and collection provisions, including for director penalty notices.

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Fresh figures released on SG non-compliance

19th March 2018

The ATO has more than doubled the number of SG non-compliance cases initiated this financial year and raised approximately $509 million from the casework completed between July 2017 and January 2018.

In a conference address this week, ATO deputy commissioner, superannuation, James O’Halloran said from July 2017 to mid-March 2018, the ATO has completed 8,100 ATO-initiated cases. This represents a 105 per cent increase from the 3,238 cases that were completed in the same period last year.

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‘Really disappointing’: Chris Jordan lashes out at tax agents

16th March 2018

Tax commissioner Chris Jordan has come out swinging at tax practitioners, after finding that incorrect claiming was more rampant in agent-prepared returns as compared to self-prepared returns.
Speaking at the Tax Institute’s National Convention in Cairns, Mr Jordan said that while the majority of tax practitioners were doing the right thing, some were “deliberately scamming or cheating the system”.

As part of the ATO’s focus on work-related expenses, Mr Jordan said its random enquiry program has found that incorrect claiming was worst in agent prepared returns.

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