The ATO’s Reach Out program is its Indigenous business support project pilot designed to identify the unique needs of Indigenous small businesses and help them meet their tax and superannuation obligations.
According to the ATO, the pilot program has been a success since its initial launch in Townsville and Brisbane in July 2018, prompting the expansion to three other states in 2020.
ATO assistant commissioner Andrew Watson said the program had been well received by members, with nine education workshops delivered through the project so far in locations including Brisbane, Ipswich and Palm Island, with improved tax awareness a key takeaway for participants.
“Reach Out was actually the brainchild of a group of our Queensland-based Evergreen Indigenous employment program participants, so we owe the success of this pilot program to their initiative and willingness to get out and about to try something new,” said Mr Watson.
“We want Indigenous small businesses to thrive. Reach Out is all about helping build sustainable businesses that will support themselves, their families and their communities.”
Mr Watson said insights gained by ATO staff involved in the pilot program have also helped inform new educational products and resources to help new Indigenous businesses.
The expansion to NSW, South Australia and Victoria will see the ATO aiming to deliver 130 workshops and other activities in 2020.
The pilot is one of several Australian government initiatives introduced to increase economic participation of Indigenous Australians and to help more Indigenous people build sustainable businesses that will support themselves, their families and their communities.
This program forms part of the ATO’s Reconciliation Action Plan, which commits to cultural diversity and inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.