Dealing with the ATO

This article was updated on 9 March 2022

Dealing with the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) can be a time consuming, long-winded task. As a team of both lawyers and accountants with over 30 years of experience, we at The Quinn Group have expertise in negotiating debt repayments and conducting audits, and can help you and your business in dealing with the ATO.                

Tips for Businesses and Individuals for Dealing with the ATO

Paying tax is part of life. However, when mistakes occur, they can take up a considerable amount of precious time and energy. 

Some of our tips for businesses and individuals include: 

1. To seek advice and support

If you seek advice or support when dealing with the ATO, you can help to ensure you achieve the best outcome. If you’re facing tax issues, debt and dealing with the ATO, we at The Quinn Group can assist. We’ll help keep you on track and avoid costly mistakes. Our tax accountants are registered with the Tax Practitioners Board and will keep in regular contact with you so you fully understand your taxation obligations. If you’re unsure about anything, we’ll help to guide you to certainty. 

2. Check your business structure

Unnecessarily complex business structures can overcomplicate tax obligations. In preparation for dealing with the ATO, talk to us to ensure your business structure suits the needs of your business.

3. Keep good records

Keeping good records is essential and will make it easier to deal with and report to the ATO. To maintain good record-keeping practices, you need to:

  • Check with our team at Quinns that your record-keeping processes meet current requirements.
  • Make sure you conduct regular reconciliation processes by cross-checking figures with your bank statements and source documents. 
  • Use technology to run your business, such as point of sale software, accounting systems and mobile apps.

4. Get your income and expenses right

To ensure what you or your business report to the ATO is accurate, contact our team. We will help to ensure that your:

  • deductions genuinely relate to your business, and that you have the required evidence to support your claims.
  • checks and balances are in place.

Further Points to Note when Dealing with the ATO

Lodging on Time

There are certain documents that must be lodged with the ATO by the specified due date.

If you find you are unable to complete and submit the document in question by the due date, simply make sure you contact one of our accountants 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. 

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 matters. If you need help dealing with the ATO, The Quinn Group can offer legal advice in addition to our accounting and taxation services. We will help to ensure you are abiding by the law and can assist with any legal implications or issues raised by the ATO.

Objections

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. We at The Quinn Group have years of experience dealing with the ATO and the external review process. Please contact us if you are facing these issues and we’ll help to find a solution.

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 online or call 02 9223 9166.