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ATO crackdown on tax cheats

The Australian Tax Office is taking a hard line approach to tax claims this year, cracking down on those who make frivolous work expense claims.

In a 41-page report, the Australian Taxation Office says they will be monitoring truck drivers, electricians, sales representatives and marketing managers as they are more likely to make wrongful travel claims.

“The most common incorrect claims by people in these occupations include motor vehicle expenses on the basis that the claimant is carrying bulky equipment required for work,” the tax office said.

In addition to this, the tax office will be cracking down on company directors who employ “phoenix” activity, meaning they use serial liquidation as a means of avoiding their financial obligations, such as PAYG and super contributions for employees.

Adrian Raftery, CEO of accountantsRus has applauded the ATO’s stance, claiming the ATO has become one of the increasing number of unsecured creditors that have been burnt by the these “phoenix” operators in recent times.

“During the Global Financial Crisis, it has become too tempting for struggling businesses to avoid their PAYG and GST obligations by keeping the BAS money away from the ‘Taxman’ instead,” said Raftery.

He warns that such operators need to mend their ways or risk a potential jail term.

“The ATO have tremendous powers … so if they believe that someone is acting fraudulently then criminal charges may be enforced.”

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Jessica Stanic

Jessica Stanic

Jessica has a background in both marketing and journalism and is dedicated to making the website the leading online resource for small to medium businesses with ambitions to grow.

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