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ATO 2012-2013 Compliance (Audit) Programme

July 20 2012

Date issued: 19 July 2012

Soldiers, plumbers, information technology (IT) managers and small coffee shop proprietors will be among those under the microscope as part of the ATO’s 2012–13 Compliance Program.

This year’s program will focus on occupations which generate high numbers of work-related claims, wealthy individuals and businesses with high numbers of cash transactions, including coffee shops and plasterers. Micro-enterprises – those with an annual turnover of less than $2 million – will also come under particular focus.

CPA Australia has urged businesses and individuals to ensure their tax affairs are in order to achieve compliance under ATO’s requirements and ensure they receive their full entitlements.

“The ATO’s 2012–13 compliance program should serve as a timely prompt for individuals and businesses to get their affairs in order and ensure they receive what they’ are entitled to,” says CPA Australia Head of Business and Investment Policy, Paul Drum.

“While there are particular areas of focus, the onus is on all businesses and individuals, regardless of size or wealth, to ensure they are compliant.

“There is a public expectation that the ATO collects the revenue in accordance with tax law. The sophistication of new technologies and the increasing refinement of its techniques enable the ATO to be even more vigilant in carrying out this role.

“For example, this year it expects to data match more than 600 million transactions.”

Among the areas of focus in this year’s compliance program will be:

  • individuals – soldiers, plumbers and IT professionals will come in for particular attention due to a high number of work-related claims
  • micro-enterprises – focused on volume of raw material supplies versus sales
  • superannuation guarantee and pay-as-you-go compliance
  • high-wealth Individuals – a focus on high-earning individuals, including medical practitioners, particularly where they have used a range of financial products
  • family trusts and private companies
  • Project Wickenby – continued clamping down on the use of tax havens
  • identity fraud.

“The vast majority of businesses and individuals have every intention of doing the right thing and this is why the information and education component of the program is so important. Punitive action should be viewed as a last resort,” he says.

“Anyone in any doubt as to compliance issues should contact us.”