12 Aug 2009

Australian Tax Office Compliance Program

by Darren

The ATO on an annual basis issues a document for all taxpayers detailing the compliance program for that specific tax year. The document identifies the ATO's approach to tax compliance across the various taxpayer groups - individual, micro enterprises, small to medium enterprises, large businesses, NPO's, governemnt organizations and tax practitioners.

In the 2008-09 Compliance program the commissioner stated that “For small businesses, we are a source of support, helping new businesses start off on the right track with, for example, sound record-keeping practices that minimise the tax risks of cash transactions or unexpected debts. When businesses get into difficulties, but demonstrate a willingness to do the right thing, we will get them over the line where we can, such as giving them reasonable lodgement and payment arrangements.”

The ATO is trying to achieve a balance between assisting those who are honest and compliant taxpayers/ businesses and preventing those who try to avoid their obligations. In addition the ATO has embarked on a number of initiatives to assist with businesses meeting their tax obligations at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer.
These initiatives include education programs such as record keeping programs, PAYG guide and Facts Sheets.

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