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ATO Releases New Blueprint: Reinventing the ATO

Yesterday, the Australian Tax Office released a blueprint containing information on a new unit for wealthy taxpayers, as well as a new design to guide future proceedings with taxpayers.

Entitled ‘Reinventing the ATO’, the blueprint outlines an exclusive unit to deal with wealthy individuals in Australia and at least one million privately owned businesses. The announcement of this new unit comes in response to the government being forced to defend exempting Australia’s biggest private companies from tax disclosure requirements.

Beginning in late April, the taxpayers who make over $1 billion or have $500 million in assets will be personally contacted by the ATO to discuss assessments of tax risks or issues. Other taxpayers in this segment who attract attention from the ATO, will also be provided with a report outlining any risk assessments or concerns.

For thousands of small businesses, the ability to pay all their employee super contributions at once to the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House will be possible by July, and there will also be enhancements made to the ATO’s small business newsroom.

The blueprint is available today on the ATO website, and contains information for both the community and ATO staff.

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What Are The Consequences Of Improperly Lodged Tax Returns?

May 4, 2021

With tax return season approaching quickly this year, you may have already started looking into lodging your income tax return. Ensuring that your details are correct and that any information about your earned income from the year is lodged is the responsibility of the taxpayer and their tax agent. However, if during this income tax return process the tax obligations of the taxpayer fail to be complied with, the Australian Taxation Office has severe penalties that they can enforce.

Australian taxation laws authorise the ATO with the ability to impose administrative penalties for failing to comply with the tax obligations that taxpayers inherently possess.

As an example, taxpayers may be liable to penalties for making false or misleading statements, failing to lodge tax returns or taking a tax position that is not reasonably arguable. False or misleading statements have different consequences if the statement given results in a shortfall amount or not. In both cases, the penalty will not be imposed if the taxpayer took reasonable care in making the statement (though they may still be subject to another penalty provision) or the statement of the taxpayer is in accordance with the ATO’s advice, published statements or general administrative practices in relation to a tax law.

The penalty base rate for statements that resulted in a shortfall amount is calculated as a percentage of the tax shortfall, or in the case of no shortfall amount, as a multiple of a penalty unit. This percentage is determined by the behaviour that led to the shortfall amount or as a multiple of a penalty unit, which are as follows:

If a statement fails to be lodged at the appropriate time, you may be liable for a penalty of 75% of the tax-related liability if:

To ensure that the statements, returns and lodgements are done correctly, and avoid the risk of potential penalties, contact us today. We’re here to help.