This week, the ATO revealed it is knuckling down in Perth and Canberra, planning to visit more than 400 businesses in the next month to ensure they are on top of their tax affairs.
Assistant Commissioner Tom Wheeler said the visits are part of an ongoing program of work, which is making its way around the country.
“We are taking the time to educate and support small businesses and their representatives who might not know how to meet their obligations,” Mr Wheeler said.
“So far, we’ve met businesses in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.”
Mr Wheeler said they are focusing on businesses operating in the cash and hidden economy, such as restaurants and cafés, and hair and beauty businesses.
“These industries are on our radar because they have ready access to cash, and this is a major risk indicator,” Mr Wheeler said.
“Visiting these businesses in person is about helping them to meet their obligations. Through the visits, we can quickly identify who needs extra support and make it easier for them to comply.”
Mr Wheeler said the main aim is to ensure fairness for all businesses and the community.
“We know that the majority of businesses get it right, so our first aim is to help businesses by checking they are properly registered and provide them with an opportunity to ask questions in person,” he said.
“We then work to protect honest businesses from unfair competition by taking action against those who do the wrong thing.”
In December 2016, the government established a black economy task force which is due to provide an interim report to the government this month.