The ATO’s compliance in focus program for 2013-2014 is a document that sets out what the ATO is doing to manage the risks and maintain the integrity of Australia’s taxation and superannuation system for the next 12 months. The Compliance in focus in not an exhaustive list of all activities the ATO is carrying out but it does describe the key focus areas for this financial year.

One key focus this year is GST and business systems integrity. Of the 2.73 million entities currently registered for GST, the ATO’s compliance activities will focus on taxpayers who have undergone complex or structural changes to their business systems.

The ATO will be particularly focused on taxpayers in the mining, wholesale trade, manufacturing, financial and insurance services, government and retail trade industries. Business system checks as well as governance and risk workshops are planned for taxpayers in these industries.

The ATO will continue to focus its attention on:

Refund integrity checks

There will be around 43,000 refund integrity checks for GST and other indirect taxes, across all industries and markets.

Reporting of GST on property

The ATO will be focusing on taxpayers who incorrectly report GST when they acquire, use, develop, sell or transfer real property through ongoing monitoring and data matching. Particular concern will be on fraudulent phoenix activity among property developers who fail to meet GST obligations and deliberately disengage from the tax system at the point of sale. The ATO will be demanding lodgement, enforcing payment and applying penalties in regards to this.

Serious attempts to evade GST

The ATO will be information matching and increasing the number of default assessments issued to those who continually fail to lodge activity statements. The ATO will take strong action against individuals and businesses that do not reply.

If you believe you may be in the ATO’s firing line, it’s important to have your issues rectified with the ATO voluntarily, before the ATO audits you. Contact our tax lawyers and tax accountants at The Quinn Group on 02 9223 9166 or submit an online enquiry today. We can help you with any issues or problems you are encountering.