The Australian Taxation Office recently released its Compliance Focus for the new financial year. The Compliance program expresses the ATO’s particular concerns and their plans to combat them, with a focus on tax and superannuation compliance. A number of their concerns may implicate small business owners, and these are listed below.

Cash Economy
Some businesses participating in the cash economy are not paying their fair share of tax, and they are becoming more visible to the ATO through increased and more sophisticated data matching. As the ATO continues to visit businesses, and identify and review those misreporting their income they will particularly focus on plastering and coffee shop enterprises.

Business Activity Statement (BAS) Refund Activity
The ATO has significantly improved techniques for recognising compliance issues with regards to BASs. The government has provided extra funding for the ATO to increase their focus on fraudulent and incorrect BAS refund claims, and they expect to verify over 47,000 claims during the year.

Employer Obligations
Businesses may be monitored and even visited to ensure that correct amounts of PAYG and appropriate superannuation payments are being remunerated. The ATO expects to review the tax affairs of over 28,000 micro and medium sized businesses to ensure they are reporting the correct amounts. Some of the key industries that they will focus on include cafés and restaurants, real estate services, carpentry services, accommodation, and accounting services.

Some businesses may be claiming losses which they are not entitled to use. The ATO will be contacting these businesses and providing them with information about incurring and using losses as well as review the tax affairs of these businesses. This will be done to make sure that the tax payable is not reduced incorrectly.

Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs)
The ATO will focus on newly registered funds to ensure they have not been established to provide illegal early release of funds, funds lodging their first annual return, auditor contravention reports, and related-party investments among other things.

Here at The Quinn Group our experienced team of accountants can assist your small business with all of its taxation needs as well as ensuring you are compliant with all of the ATO concerns mentioned above (that will be increasingly cracked down upon) in order to prevent any repercussions. Please submit an online enquiry or call us on 1300 QUINNS (784 667) to book an appointment.