On the road: ATO black economy crackdown starts

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On the road: ATO black economy crackdown starts

The ATO is expected to visit around 10,000 small businesses in the 2019-20 financial year in a wide-ranging crackdown on black economy activities.


Already ATO officers are on the road and over June-July headed to the Northern Territory as part of a nationwide crackdown on the black economy. Queensland and Victoria are also pencilled in to be visited by ATO officers. Assistant Commissioner Peter Holt said that the ATO is particularly concerned about businesses that are not registered for pay-as- you-go (PAYG) withholding or GST.


“Businesses who pay cash in hand, or fail to lodge income tax returns or business activity statements, get an unfair advantage and make it harder for other businesses who are doing the right thing,” Holt says. “By detecting and addressing this behaviour, we’re helping to ensure a level playing field for honest small businesses in the NT.”


In the Sunshine Coast region, the focus will be on particular industries. Around Maroochydore, for example, the focus is to be on:

  • cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services
  • building, pest control, agricultural and gardening services
  • personal care services
  • legal and accounting services


The ATO has previously visited businesses in Cairns, Broadbeach, Caloundra and Sunnybank and will expand the program in 2019-20 financial year.

In Victoria, the ATO is focused on:

  • building, pest control and gardening services
  • transport support services
  • automotive repair and maintenance
  • postal and courier pick-up and delivery services.


Industries in focus include:

  • cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services
  • computer system design and related services
  • other personal services
  • architectural, engineering and technical services.


As part of the visits, the ATO will also be visiting tax practitioners of small businesses in these areas as part of its early intervention strategy. It says these visits will help it better understand the drivers behind tax agent behaviour and provide education and support to encourage willing participation of their clients in the tax and super systems.


Prior to the visits, local businesses and tax professionals are invited to attend a one-hour information session that will explain the purpose of the visits, what to expect if visited, and how to avoid common mistakes.

August 16th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|