• Recommendation 7.1

    The ATO should foster better record keeping and accurate reporting of income in a manner that minimises overall costs for small businesses through a variety of means including:

    1. the development of industry specific record keeping guidance in consultation with small business owners, industry associations, tax agents and bookkeepers;
    2. consultation with the new Federal Small Business Commissioner about the possibility of a ‘one-stop shop’ for information on small business record keeping and reporting of income;
    3. improvement to promotion of its publications and assistance in relation to record keeping (including small business assistance visits) through a diverse range of channels including tax agents;
    4. making those small businesses falling outside the benchmarks aware of the ATO’s ‘no strings attached’ assistance visits;
    5. consultation with relevant tax practitioner representative bodies with a view to establishing a ‘taxpayer record keeping assurance process’ which could be used as a factor in excluding compliant taxpayers from audit selection.

    ATO response

    We agreed with this recommendation and implementation was completed on 28 August 2014.

    We continue to maintain a range of general and industry specific advice and education products about record keeping.

    We met with the Office of the Small Business Commissioner to discuss the possibility of a 'one stop shop' for information relating to small business record keeping. The Small Business Commissioner has indicated that he wants to look at a whole of government approach.

    Where we have identified an industry for particular focus we have worked with the industry bodies and tax agents to ensure that the industry in aware of the reasons for our focus, our intended actions and that resources such as advice on record keeping are available for affected business.

    A review of channels of communication for a range of products, including assistance visits, showed some areas of refinement which have been introduced. In addition some additional products have been released, including:

      Last modified: 29 Oct 2014QC 42955