The Australia Taxation Office (ATO) has committed to protecting honest businesses by tracking down deceitful or illegal activities in towns and cities across the country. In early November 2019, the ATO will visit Bankstown.

Here’s a bit more information regarding the ATO’s pledge to protect honest businesses and what their visit to Bankstown means for the region’s locals.

Protecting honest businesses

Business owners and operators don’t have it easy. Running a business can be a real challenge, especially when competing businesses engage in dishonest behaviour to gain a financial edge.

The ATO has pledged to protect businesses that are honest by identifying black economy activities. By visiting towns and cities across the country, the ATO aims to call out businesses that have gained unfair advantages by refusing to meet their tax and super obligations, and other criminal actions.

What kinds of black economy activities is the ATO targeting?

Black economy activities include both dishonest and illegal activities that involve the misuse or abuse of regulatory systems, such as the taxation system.

Black economy activities on the ATO’s radar include the following:

  •             Failure to declare all income
  •             The over-reporting of deductions
  •             ABN fraud
  •             Paying employees (or being paid) in cash to avoid tax obligations
  •             The sale of illicit tobacco
  •             Phoney contracting

How does the ATO identify dishonest businesses?

The ATO utilises a vast network of tax practitioners, industry associations, and small and large businesses to gain an understanding of what dishonest behaviour might look like across a range of industries and sectors.

With this information, the ATO then analyses third-party data and risk profiles to single out businesses that aren’t doing the right thing.

The ATO recognises that some businesses engaging in black economy behaviour may not be doing so deliberately. These are not the focus of the ATO’s efforts – instead, the office is concerned with owners, managers, operators, and employees that do the wrong thing for personal gain.

The ATO is visiting Bankstown

The ATO is visiting organisations across the country as a part of their effort to protect honest business. As we mentioned above, representatives from the ATO will be in Bankstown from 4 November 2019.

What kinds of business are the ATO interested in?

The ATO will most likely be targeting businesses in the hospitality industry – namely restaurants and cafes. They will be looking to determine whether or not these businesses have systems in place designed to make sure all cash is accounted for.

Depending on what the ATO finds out during their visit, they may be in touch with local business owners to follow up.

Should I be worried?

If you are engaging in honest business practices, you have no need to worry about the ATO’s visit to the Bankstown region. If you are unsure, it’s worth taking this opportunity to review and improve your financial systems, especially concerning cash payments.

If you’d like assistance ensuring your business is meeting all of its obligations, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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