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  • Enhanced ATO enforcement against the shadow economy

    The ATO is implementing an enhanced enforcement strategy to better target those doing the wrong thing, making it fairer for those doing the right thing. This is a key part of the government's action plan to combat the shadow economy.

    This work includes:

    • ensuring taxpayers meet their lodgment obligations – by contacting businesses and working with them to make sure they're up to date with their tax returns and activity statements
    • protecting the rights of employees and their super, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and fringe benefits tax (FBT) entitlements – by working with employers to make sure they're getting it right for all their employees
    • strengthening the integrity of the tax system and providing a level playing field for small business – by identifying businesses that aren't complying fully with their tax obligations, and taking action against them
    • working to protect honest businesses from unfair competition by addressing shadow economy activities
    • working with tax practitioners to ensure they're not supporting or encouraging shadow economy behaviour in their clients
    • prosecuting the worst offenders to the full extent of the law
    • using better data and more sophisticated technology to detect those operating in the shadow economy
    • tapping into valuable community knowledge through our Tax Integrity Centre, where the community can report suspected or known shadow economy activity to an ATO Tip-off hotline (information from the community could be the missing piece of a puzzle that allows us to successfully audit or prosecute illegal shadow economy behaviour)
    • introducing director identification numbersExternal Link (director IDs) to help prevent the use of false and fraudulent director identities
    • a continued focus on
      • better education through initiatives like our schools education program
      • helping small business owners understand their tax and super obligations.
      Last modified: 01 Nov 2021QC 58689