ATO plugs up cash-in-hand payments leak

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 19-Jun-19

The Australian Taxation Office has signalled that it will crack down on companies that make cash-in-hand payments to their employees. Assistant commissioner Peter Holt says that from 1 July, payments to workers will only be tax deductible if they comply with pay-as-you-go withholding and reporting requirements. The crackdown is in response to recommendations made by the federal government’s Black Economy Taskforce, which has estimated that the cash economy is worth up to $50bn a year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

How ATO is catching more fraudsters

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 11-Dec-18

The Australian Taxation Office has joined forces with its peers in the US, Canada, the UK and the Netherlands to establish the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement group. The five tax authorities will co-operate in combating activities such as tax fraud, organised crime and money-laundering. Assistant tax commissioner Peter Vujanic says the ATO’s data-matching and analytical capabilities means there is now a much higher probability that tax-related crimes will be detected, regardless of their level of sophistication.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, UNITED STATES. INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, GREAT BRITAIN. HM REVENUE AND CUSTOMS, CANADA. REVENUE AGENCY, NETHERLANDS. FISCAL INFORMATION AND INVESTIGATION SERVICE, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE, AUSTRALIAN CRIME COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN BORDER FORCE

Windfall tax take balancing the books

Original article by David Uren
The Australian – Page: 4 : 26-Oct-18

New figures show that the federal government had a balanced Budget in the 12 months to September, with cash receipts and expenditure both totalling $257.4bn. Meanwhile, the deficit for the first three months of 2018-19 was just $10.5bn, well below the forecast of $19.5bn in May. The figures also show that company tax revenue was 13.8 per cent higher than in the first quarter of 2017-8 and personal income tax revenue was 6.3 per cent higher. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says the improved Budget position will be at risk if Labor wins the next election.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Tax fraud prosecutors tip raft of fresh charges

Original article by Sam Buckingham-Jones
The Australian – Page: 4 : 14-Mar-18

Prosecutor David Moorhouse has told a Sydney court that it might take another 4-6 months to prepare the brief of evidence in a $A165m tax fraud case. Ten people have been charged with a range of offences, including the son and daughter of the Australian Taxation Office’s former deputy commissioner, Michael Cranston. Moorhouse also said the defendants may face additional or amended charges when the brief is completed. Magistrate David Price set a deadline of 13 July to file the completed brief.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

ATO cracks down on other work-related deductions

Original article by Frank Chung
News.com.au – Page: Online : 22-Feb-18

The Australian Taxation Office has signalled its intention to target tax deductions for dubious work-related expenses in 2018. ATO assistant commissioner Kath Anderson says workers claimed a record $A7.9bn worth of deductions for "other" work-related expenses in 2017. She says many people attempt to claim a tax deduction for private expenses and pass it off as a work expense. She stresses the importance of keeping records of legitimate work-related expenses.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS TRIBUNAL

ATO beefs up internal processes after scandal

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 11-Jan-18

The Plutus Payroll fraud has prompted the Australian Taxation Office to review and strengthen its internal integrity and fraud controls. The ATO has also revamped its fraud awareness training programs, while senior executives have participated in regular meetings of the Inspector-General of Taxation’s review of fraud control management. The son and daughter of former deputy commissioner Michael Cranston are facing criminal charges over his role in the Plutus fraud, while Cranston himself has been charged with abuse of public office.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, PLUTUS PAYROLL AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF TAXATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HUMAN SERVICES, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF IMMIGRATION AND BORDER PROTECTION, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

NAB’s Henry calls for action on forgotten tax system review

Original article by James Eyers, James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 18-Dec-17

Ken Henry prepared a major report into Australia’s tax system in 2010, when he was secretary of the Treasury under former prime minister Kevin Rudd. Henry is currently chairman of National Australia Bank. When asked by a shareholder at its AGM on 15 December whether he favoured tax reform, he said that there were lots of proposals in his 2010 report that he would like to see adopted, including a reduction in the company tax rate.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

ATO gets personal with 1500 richest

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 11-Dec-17

The Australian Taxation Office is taking a new approach when it comes to ensuring that the nation’s richest people are not avoiding their tax obligations. Whereas the ATO’s previous policy in this area was to rely on tax reviews and audits, its new strategy involves personal interviews with Australia’s richest people. The ATO’s current focus, which is led by Will Day, is on Australia’s top 320 private groups. Those within this group have either $A500 million or more in assets or at least $A350 million in turnover.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE

Cash-only hot spots in sights of ATO

Original article by Nick Tabakoff
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 4-Dec-17

The Australian Taxation Office is currently targeting areas of the nation that have a lot of cash-only businesses. Such areas include Glenelg in South Australia and Sunnybank in Brisbane, with businesses being investigated including hairdressers and beauty parlours. The areas in question often have high immigrant numbers, and ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan, says Chatswood in Sydney could be one area for future targeting. The ATO’s crackdown on the cash economy has already netted it $A200 million in unpaid tax.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Fix it and get back to economy, says BCA

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 4 : 30-Aug-17

Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott has urged Parliament to resolve the standoff over marriage equality quickly in order to focus on economic policy. Westacott says the Federal Government must agree to a conscience vote if the majority of Australians support legalising same-sex marriage in the postal plebiscite. She has also criticised the "anti-business agenda" of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten regarding tax cuts for smaller companies and the taxation of trusts.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN