News and Media

Budget 2018: Finance items in the fine print

9th May 2018

Accountants and the tax profession will find plenty of measures in the fine print of the 2018 Federal Budget papers that will affect individuals and business clients.

There is extra funding for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to investigate claims by individuals and their tax agents, and changes that may impact partnership structures of professional firms.

Practitioners will have to await draft legislation to better understand how many of these changes will actually impact taxpayers.

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7-Eleven Joins List of Companies Penalised for Accounting Misconduct

August 2018

7-Eleven was fined $192,780 for forging employee and payroll records. Payroll and bookkeeping were the most common contraventions across all companies.

This April, the Federal Circuit Court penalised Avinash Pratap Singh, a manager and shareholder of 7-Eleven in Brisbane of $32,130; moreover, a $160,650 penalty was imposed on S & A Enterprises (QLD) Pty Ltd., of which he is a director.

An investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) revealed repeated violations by both companies, namely short-changing and accounting falsification.

Judge Salvatore Vasta revealed that the intended operations “created records that appeared to show that the employees were paid at the rates of pay prescribed by the modern award, including penalty rates and overtime rates of pay, which actually bore no relation to their hours of work or actual hourly rates.”

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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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