• A reminder about tax fairness from the ATO

    22 January 2014 Media

    Media Article 2014/01

    As major contributors to the Australian economy, the choices and actions of businesses matter and as part of a new campaign the ATO is asking businesses to consider what impact tax compliance has on the business community and economy.

    “The Australian concept of a fair go for all importantly applies to our tax system as well. That’s why we support businesses trying to do the right thing, “Deputy Commissioner, Steve Vesperman said today.

    Whilst many businesses have good systems in place, some small businesses occasionally need additional assistance to meet their tax obligations. The ATO website is a great place to go for help, with the new Small Business AssistExternal Link tool available for all Australian businesses, as well as the new ATO mobile app.

    The annual business perceptions survey conducted for the ATO shows that almost all small businesses think it’s important that businesses pay their fair share of tax. The survey also shows that the majority of businesses support maintaining fairness in the tax system with around two thirds agreeing that if they knew someone was evading paying tax; they would report this to the ATO.

    With the help of extra funding this year to strengthen the ATO’s detection systems, action will be taken against non-compliant operators that don’t do the right thing by Australian business.

    “The key to staying on track is to be as up-to-date with your obligations as possible. So even if you can’t pay by the due date, make sure you lodge your BAS and we will take it from there. If you call us early to let us know we can work out a solution together.

    Every Australian plays their part in the tax system. Making sure their tax affairs are in order will help keep the system fair for all Australians,” Steve Vesperman said.

    Those willing to do the right thing can count on support from the ATO to help them get it right. From easy access to information at any time of day, individual conversations with ATO representatives, or flexible payment arrangements for viable businesses, the ATO wants to support Australian businesses that are doing the right thing and help business succeed.

    Fairness facts and figures

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    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

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    The ATO’s most recent research into small businesses attitudes and behaviours that drive compliance with the GST system has found there is a strong sense of the need to play fair:

    • 95% thought that paying the GST you collect to the ATO is the right thing to do
    • only 14% agreed that occasional cash in hand payments do no harm to anyone
    • only 7% thought tweaking the numbers on your BAS a little bit can help the business financially.
    Last modified: 22 Jan 2014QC 38345