ATO Visits to Small Businesses

The ATO have been increasing their activity with regards to small businesses.  They have already visited businesses in a number of areas throughout Australia and are set to extend this over the next year.

Their visits are part of their approach to protect honest businesses from unfair competition by addressing black economy activities.

They will be talking to businesses about:

  • record keeping and payment facilities, registrations, outstanding lodgements, tax debts, and employer obligations such as superannuation
  • how to fix mistakes
  • the benefits of electronic record keeping and payment methods
  • ATO tools and assistance products available for them
  • any other help they may need.

The areas they are visiting are considered to be higher risk. This could include:

  • unreported or misrepresented sales
  • omitting income, including missing payments and online transactions
  • discrepancies between activity statements and tax returns
  • businesses that are operating outside the tax system
  • when lifestyle and assets don’t match up, like owning property and vehicles that they would need much higher incomes to cover
  • businesses reporting outside of the business benchmarks.

If businesses need or ask for help, the ATO intend to help them get back on track as well as show them the ATO tools and information available. However, if they are concerned that a business is deliberately doing the wrong thing, they will investigate further and take any necessary action.

No matter what kind of business you have, if you’re doing the right thing, you don’t need to be concerned.

If you’re concerned about the authenticity of someone visiting your premises claiming to be from the ATO, you can phone 1800 008 540 to confirm ATO activity in your area.