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  • ATO protecting Sunshine Coast Region businesses from the black economy

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will be visiting up to 400 small businesses in Maroochydore from early to mid-June as part of a nationwide crackdown on the black economy. The ATO is on the look-out for dishonest and criminal activity that the Black Economy Taskforce estimates as costing the community as much as $50 billion each year.

    Assistant Commissioner Peter Holt said small businesses in the Sunshine Coast Region can expect a knock on the door from the ATO as part of these visits. “Businesses who are hiding sales and not declaring income, paying cash in hand, or underpaying workers are contributing to the black economy.

    “We are particularly concerned about businesses in Maroochydore who are not registered for pay as you go (PAYG) withholding or GST. Local visits provide us an opportunity to talk to business owners and help them get things right.”

    “We also encourage the community to share their concerns and help ensure local businesses are competing on a level playing field. Signs that a business may be operating in the black economy include poor record keeping or not providing receipts.” Mr Holt said

    Industries in focus for Maroochydore:

    • Cafes, Restaurants and Takeaway Food Services
    • Building, Pest Control, Agricultural and Gardening Services
    • Personal Care Services
    • Legal and Accounting Services

    “The revenue lost to the black economy is money the community can use to fund public services like schools, welfare, roads, healthcare, and infrastructure.” Mr Holt said.

    The ATO has previously visited businesses in Cairns, Broadbeach, Caloundra and Sunnybank and will expand the program in 2019-20 financial year, expecting to visit around 10,000 small businesses across the country.

    As part of the visits, the ATO will also be visiting tax practitioners of small businesses in these areas as part of our early intervention strategy. These visits will enable us to better understand the drivers behind agent behaviour and provide education and support to encourage willing participation of their clients in our tax and super systems.

    Prior to the visits, local businesses and tax professionals are invited to attend a one-hour information session that will explain the purpose of the visits, what to expect if visited, and how to avoid common mistakes. A Single Touch Payroll information session will also be held on the same day.

    To register for an information session, visit

    The ATO also has a hotline to allow small business operators to report others that may be doing the wrong thing. Reports can be made anonymously. The hotline number is 1800 060 062. Reports can also be made online at

    Information session:

    Monday 27 May, 10.00am -11.00am or 6.00pm-7.00pm

    Maroochy RSL, 105 Memorial Avenue, Maroochydore, QLD 4558

    We will also be running a ‘Single Touch Payroll: Introduction’ session from 11.30am  – 1.20pm

    Last modified: 23 May 2019QC 59046