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  • Report schemes and promoters

    As well as negatively impacting taxpayers, advisers who promote schemes to obtain an unfair advantage over those that do the right thing, undermine the level playing field of the tax profession.

    We support a fair and competitive business environment where all businesses compete on a level playing field.

    Your role in the community

    You are well positioned to recognise potential schemes in your industry, so if you see something that rings alarm bells we encourage you to tell us about it.

    To be more effective, we need your help. We recognise your value in community networks, whether you've been directly approached by scheme promoters, listened to their 'pitches' at seminars, or encounter tax avoidance risks through contact with your clients.

    As a professional, we see your role crucially positions you to protect your client and your business from scheme promoters. This raises the question, ‘what is the dominant purpose of this arrangement?’

    A recent case shows how successful this partnership can be. We received a referral from a tax agent who was concerned about a boutique arrangement that was initially marketed by word-of-mouth and then further promoted online. The promotional material included misleading statements about ATO endorsement of the arrangement, and incorrect advice about tax implications.

    We met with the promoter and discussed our concerns about the advertising and operation of the arrangement. As a result, the promoter agreed to immediately cease promoting the arrangement and removed all website content. The promoter also entered into a formal agreement (Enforceable Voluntary Undertaking) with the ATO to stop promoting, marketing and /or encouraging the arrangement, and address future governance.

    Fortunately, our quick action limited participation in the scheme to just 30 taxpayers, keeping the revenue at risk low. However, it may have been a different story if we hadn't received the referral, and the scheme had grown to involve more taxpayers.

    If you have clients who are caught up in an aggressive tax scheme, we encourage you to ask them to talk to us, so that we can work together to resolve any problems.

    By reporting tax avoidance schemes as early as possible, you can prevent other people getting caught out and facing significant penalties.

    You can report a tax avoidance scheme confidentially by:

    • completing the tip-off form on our website or in the ATO app - contact us section
    • calling us on 1800 060 062

    If possible, you should include the following information:

    • details of the arrangement
    • name and contact details of the adviser/promoter
    • any other relevant information , such as promotional material, cost of the arrangement, tax advice provided.

    If you are offered a tax avoidance scheme, you should reject it and then report it to us. Also contact us if you:

    • think you are involved in a tax scheme
    • have concerns about an investment arrangement or a promoter.
    Last modified: 02 Jul 2019QC 33634