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Tax planning

While tax planning is acceptable, tax avoidance schemes that deliberately exploit the system will attract our attention.

Last updated 18 November 2019

You have the right to arrange your financial affairs to keep your tax to a minimum. This is often referred to as tax planning, or tax-effective investing.

Tax planning is legitimate when you do it within the intent of the law. However tax minimisation schemes that are outside the spirit of the law may attract our attention. We refer to these as tax avoidance schemes or arrangements.

A tax avoidance scheme involves the deliberate exploitation of our tax and superannuation systems. We take these schemes seriously, and will take action when they are not lawful.

Involvement in a tax avoidance scheme can risk your original investment. You might also have to pay back tax, with interest and penalties.

If you think you are involved in a scheme, we can help you. If you tell us about your involvement before we start to investigate you could be eligible for a reduction in penalties.

You can contact us by:

  • phoning 1800 060 062
  • completing a tip-off form. The form is also available in the contact us section of the ATO app.


Media: Tax tricks that will get you in trouble Link (Duration: 00:32)

Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra.

Make sure tax planning arrangements you enter are lawful. There are many things to check before you invest.

How to recognise tax avoidance schemes and the red flags associated with them.

Describes schemes targeting Australians planning for their retirement to send money inappropriately through their SMSF.

How to protect your clients and practice from tax avoidance and evasion schemes and manage promoter penalty risks.

How to report tax avoidance or tax evasion schemes and promoters confidentially to the ATO.

Promoter penalty laws are in place to deter the promotion of tax avoidance and tax evasion schemes.

Detailed information about areas of tax planning we are focussing on.