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EOFY black spots found in SMBs tax knowledge

I was amazed to find out that last financial year the Australian Tax Office (ATO) evaluated 1.4 million small businesses against its risk detection systems, which led to 16,000 being investigated. I’ll hazard a guess and say many of these business owners had no idea they were doing anything wrong.

Goodness knows enough time is spent on paperwork and keeping up to date with new and amended policies/initiatives that affect commercial enterprise. It’s a constant journey of updating your knowledge, systems and processes.

To explore how business operators were going with prepping for EOFY changes, we ran an ‘MYOB Insights Panel’ with close to 400 SMEs.

More than two thirds of our panel participants described themselves as ‘very confident’ or ‘confident’ that their business would be fully compliant with 2012-13 compliance changes. Despite this, we found many have significant grey areas in their knowledge about a raft of compliance changes being introduced in the new financial year.

Not only can this lead to sour relationships with employees (eg. if you get their payroll changes wrong) but the ATO could pick up on these mistakes. Not fun, and avoidable.

Some of these key stats from our panel research could be a prompter for you to update your knowledge quota in some areas:

  • Flood levy – Nearly half our participants (45 percent) were unaware of the removal of the flood levy, with 26 percent well aware;
  • Tax-free threshold – Almost one in five (18 percent) were unaware of changes to the tax-free threshold, with 40 percent well aware;
  • Reporting of contractor payments – Close to two thirds (62 percent) were unaware of changes to the annual reporting of contractor payments in the building and construction industry, with 13 percent well aware;
  • Carbon tax – 13 percent were unaware of the carbon tax introduction, with 36 percent well aware.

See if you can avoid time, money and paperwork hassles by colouring in your knowledge grey areas. MYOB will soon have a range of EOFY resources on our website, so keep an eye out.

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