Your Business Angels - The Australian Tax Office and the Art of Cooking Fish

The Australian Tax Office and the Art of Cooking Fish


Or may be the title should read “The ATO is chasing and cooking the bigger fish and will get to the smaller ones from time to time, or eventually.”

We know the term “bigger fish to fry”. In the case of the resource poor ATO, it’s about focusing on major tax fraud, and making sure that those overseas companies that don’t want to make any contribution are chased. Large corporations can employ lawyers and barristers by the truck load and can afford to stand outside court and tear up bundles of money –because more likely, they aren’t paying much tax.

The Australian Tax Office and the Art of Cooking Fish

So the good folk at the ATO have a lot on their plate –which could be the reason why they are slow at chasing smaller businesses that are a sole trader with an ABN to even small businesses that employ people.
So you could, if you are a few years behind in your lodgements of BAS and returns and haven’t been chased lately, think “they are not coming for me” but…and here is the big BUT, they will get there even if in the end they chase your estate. And when they do, you could get cooked or should I say fried.

We were asked by a taxi driver to clear up his 19 years of tax returns. The end result was that as well as having an $800k tax debt, he also had $1.3 million in fines. No matter how humble your business, the debt will mount, and if they are in a mood, remittance is hard.

Usually the years we clean-up for clients is less and we are able to negotiate quite well if we have a plan. Being sensible and being clear on how our clients will pay can go a long way when we negotiate.

The Australian Tax Office can start with a phone call or a letter. Then they have a lot of options to come after you. We can pick it up from there, keep communication lines open and complete lodgement with a plan. All before the tax man turns the fryers on –so to speak.

If you know you are behind, are wondering what to do, are worried when the ATO will call, or the ATO have started to rattle the chains, or it is starting to smell like Friday Night Fish and Chips… give us a call on 1300 982559, or go to our website and make an inquiry. We are here to help you through this.

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