The ATO picks people for an audit or review because they are different (red flags!!!) or because they have specific data on you from a data matching program. And they are getting very clever about it. There are laws requiring third parties e.g. banks, insurance companies, public companies etc to report a range of things. If you have shares, property, a boat insured for 100k or more, a collectors car insured for over $50k or a racehorse insured for over 65k, the ATO knows all about it. They also know about your eBay or Gumtree trades.
The audit risks are about your income (is eBay a small business) or capital gains tax (are you holding a collector car to make a profit down the line). Audit risk is also about “life style”, especially in businesses where cash is handled. But in general, data generation and data matching is becoming very extensive. Beware!
Rental Properties – Audit Target
Some key audit risks for rental property owners include:
– A holiday home is not genuinely available for rent
– Loan interest is being over claimed
– Incorrect and false claims for a newly purchased rental property (repairs the big one)
– Record keeping.
The Tax Office has major databases for every rental in Australia and it is all done by postcodes. You stand out, you’ll be a target.
We offer, via Suncorp, a product called Audit Shield. Last year, over a third of our clients took up this policy. Should you have any type of audit or enquiry about your tax affairs, the policy will cover all our costs in handling that audit – these cost could go from $200 to over $2,000. The premium is tax deductible. Cover also extends to WorkCover audits and Payroll Tax audits. We will be sending out
offers to apply, or reapply, for the insurance in late August. If you need to know more, or wish to ensure you are on the offer list, please contact us.
Scammers Posing as Tax Office Staff
In recent months we have had reports from three clients who have been phoned by “ATO Staff” demanding payment of outstanding taxes. The theme is always the same “pay up or we will send out the Federal Police to arrest you”. If anyone, purporting to be from the
Tax Office phones you (or maybe emails you), just ask them to contact your tax agent – AVD CPA – and then hang up immediately. If it is an email, delete it.
The Tax Office does NOT phone or email people about tax debts – only scammers do. Don’t become a victim of this type of scam.
This is a word that has generated much discussion in recent times. There is a lot on the internet about it. But the following probably sums it up best. It is from an article written by Chris Bowen (currently the Shadow Treasurer of the Labor Party) and it was published on 17 February 2011 in the Sydney Morning Herald, titled “What makes Multiculturalism great is mutual respect”. The article says, in part “To so me, multiculturalism is simply a diverse population, and a non-discriminatory immigration policy. There are the foundations of Australian multiculturalism, but it consists of much more. First, our multiculturalism is underpinned by respect for traditional Australian values. Those who arrive in Australia are invited to continue to celebrate their cultures within a broader culture of freedom but, more importantly, with respect. However, if there is any inconsistency between these values and individual freedom and the rule of law, then these Australian values win out. They must”
The full article in The Sydney Morning Herald ,What makes multiculturalism great is mutual respect’ is well worth reading.
NOTE: The information above is, of necessity, general in nature. It should not be relied upon. For more targeted advice, please contact our office or your super/finance consultant or ASK us to direct you to one of our network of experts.
We do not accept commissions from third parties or other parties in relation to referrals.