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  • Low GST and PAYG withholding registration numbers trigger ATO business visits to Dandenong and Richmond

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will be visiting small businesses in Victoria from late May to early June as part of a nationwide crackdown on the black economy. Up to 700 small businesses in Dandenong and up to 500 businesses in Richmond can expect a knock on the door from the ATO.

    Assistant Commissioner Peter Holt said that the ATO is visiting businesses in these areas because they have identified indicators of risk. “We’re particularly concerned about businesses in these locations 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.”

    Industries in focus for Dandenong:

    • Building, Pest Control and Gardening Services
    • Transport Support Services
    • Automotive Repair and Maintenance
    • Postal and Courier Pick-up and Delivery Services

    Industries in focus for Richmond:

    • Café, Restaurants and Takeaway Food Services
    • Computer System Design and Related Services
    • Other Personal Services
    • Architectural, Engineering and Technical Services

    “We also take community referrals about businesses who are suspected of doing the wrong thing into account when selecting where to visit. Misrepresenting sales, not reporting income from online transactions and poor record keeping are some of the common concerns the community has raised with us.

    Businesses who pay cash in hand, don’t pay the proper super or fail to lodge income tax or business activity statements get an unfair advantage and make it harder for other businesses who are doing the right thing. By detecting and addressing this behaviour, we’re helping to ensure a level playing field for honest small businesses in Victoria.”

    The ATO has previously visited businesses in Box Hill, Geelong and Cranbourne, 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.

    “Victorian businesses who are not declaring income or underpaying workers are contributing to the black economy. The Black Economy Taskforce estimates that the black economy is costing the community as much as $50 billion, which is approximately three percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is money that the community is missing out on for vital public services like schools, welfare, roads, healthcare, and infrastructure”, Mr Holt said.

    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 ato.gov.au/protectinghonestbusiness

    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 ato.gov.au/reportaconcern

    Information sessions:

    Richmond: Monday 27 May, 10.00am–11.00am or 7.00pm–8.00pm

    Bridge Room, Amora Hotel Riverwalk Melbourne, 649 Bridge Road, Richmond, VIC 3121

    We will also be running a ‘Single Touch Payroll: Introduction’ session from 11.00am – 12.50pm

    Dandenong: Thursday 6 June, 9.30am–10.30am, 2.30pm–3.30pm or 5.30pm–6.30pm

    Punthill Apartment Hotel Dandenong, 157-163 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, VIC 3175

    We will also be running a ‘Single Touch Payroll: Introduction’ session from 10.30am–12.20pm

    Last modified: 23 May 2019QC 59047