Around 300 businesses in the Central West of NSW can expect visits by ATO inspectors over the next two months, as the Tax Office continues to investigate tip-offs regarding undeclared income.
Over October and November, the ATO is planning to visit businesses in the Bathurst area, amid concerns of black economy activities.
“Our intelligence also suggests that some businesses are not declaring all of their income to the ATO, and [are] avoiding their employer obligations by not paying staff entitlements like super and tax contributions,” said assistant commissioner Peter Holt.
“These dishonest businesses in Bathurst are unfairly overtaking their honest competitors when it comes to their tax, so we’re going to take a look under a few bonnets to ensure everything is in order. By detecting and addressing this behaviour, we’re helping to ensure honest small businesses can get a fair run around the track.”
Of particular interest to the ATO inspectors are the following types of businesses:
- Building installation services
- Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services
- Legal and accounting services
- Personal care services
The ATO will also be holding information sessions on Wednesday, 16 October, at Panthers Bathurst, including a “tax essentials” session designed to help small businesses get up to speed on some of the basics of business taxes.
These sessions will occur before inspectors begin doorknocking businesses in the regional city.
Mr Holt reiterated previous concerns about the black economy punching a hole in the nation’s budget worth as much as $50 billion or around 3 per cent of GDP.
“This is money that the community is missing out on for vital public services like healthcare, roads, schools and welfare,” he said.
This month, ATO inspectors are also visiting up to 400 businesses across inner Brisbane, in suburbs including Fortitude Valley and New Farm, again on the back of public tip-offs.
The ATO has a target of proactively visiting up to 10,000 businesses right across Australia this financial year.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.