Business Tax Services – Dealing with the ATO
As they say, there are only two certainties in life – death and taxes. The world of tax can be extremely complex and if obligations are not adhered to it can become often extremely stressful, not to mention costly.
Below are some hints and tips to be aware of when dealing with the ATO. Should you need advice on any ATO or tax related matters such as negotiating debt repayments, conducting audits or defending charges brought against you as an individual or a business contact us now by submitting an online enquiry form or call 1300 QUINNS or on +61 2 9223 9166.
Lodging on Time:
There are certain documents such as activity statements and tax returns that must be lodged by the specified due date – if not, you will subject yourself to the possibility of being charged with late penalties.
If you find you are unable to complete and submit the document in question by the due date, simply make sure you contact your accountant or the ATO before that date and you may be granted an extension. Even if you are aware that you will not be able to pay the ATO the sum that is owing you should still lodge your documents as they may be able to offer you an extension and waive any applicable late penalties.
Having an accountant or registered tax agent prepare and lodge your forms can help to ensure that you avoid any penalties for late or incorrect lodgement
You should take care when you are filling out documents to be lodged with the ATO – make sure that the information you provide is accurate and up to date. Honest mistakes are excusable, but negligence is not. Even if you have an accountant (or similar) completing your documents for you, it is still ultimately up to you to ensure that the information is all in order.
The ATO & Illegal Activities:
There are both persons and groups (inside and outside of Australia) who carry out illegal activities in order to avoid their taxation requirements, and/or work the system for unwarranted financial gain.
The following are examples of common illegal tax evasion:
- Lots of transactions of small amounts
- Refund and credit scams
- Undeclared offshore transactions
- Illegal tobacco farming and selling
- Identity theft
The ATO takes the above criminal acts very seriously, and has tough and efficient policies in place to deal with such things.
Reviews and Appeals:
Once the ATO has come to a decision regarding your tax dealings you are able to ask for that decision to be reviewed. The ATO will let you know of any time restrictions, and also of the different courses of action that are available to you. Time restrictions can be anywhere between weeks to years.
Depending on their nature, reviews can be carried out either within or outside the ATO.
In general the reviews are free of charge, except if it is in relation to ‘freedom of information’ judgments. Your review will not be carried out by the same tax officer who made the initial judgment.
If you find a problem with your notice of assessment you and your accountant should go over it, together with your BAS/IAS or return and double check your assumptions. After you have done that, if you still have issues with it you can contact the ATO and request an amendment. In most cases you will have 2 years to appeal for an amendment; however in some special circumstances it can be as long as 4 years. If you then receive an assessment you are still not happy with then you can lodge an objection to that assessment.
Objections can apply to many decisions made by the ATO, though no objections are allowed in relation to a GST private ruling.
When you lodge an objection it needs to be presented in a very comprehensive and written form, submitted within the time limits, dated, signed and declare that all the information you have given them is accurate.
If your objection is returned and you are still not happy with the decision made, you can seek an external review.
The world of tax can be extremely complex and if obligations are not adhered to it can often become quite stressful, not to mention costly. The accountants, lawyers and tax agents at The Quinn Group are able to assist you with all tax and ATO related matters. For advice or more information contact us now by submitting an online enquiry form or call 1300 QUINNS or on +61 2 9223 9166.
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