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Community tip-offs trigger ATO visits to 700 WA businesses

Around 700 small businesses in Western Australia are set to receive door knocks from the ATO next month after the agency received intelligence around possible black economy behaviour.

Tax&Compliance Jotham Lian 30 July 2019
— 1 minute read

The ATO is planning to visit around 700 small businesses in Broome, Cable Beach, Derby and Kununurra, Western Australia in August as it looks to tackle black economy behaviour.

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ATO assistant commissioner Peter Holt said these towns have been singled out as a result of some tell-tale signs of black economy behaviour.

“Black economy signs that we look out for are things like not being registered for GST or pay as you go withholding, lifestyle and assets far exceeding reported business income, or a lack of merchant payment facilities like EFTPOS,” Mr Holt said.

“We understand that some businesses may not have merchant payment facilities due to individual circumstances. The issue is when businesses are deliberately ‘cash only’ to avoid reporting all their income. By detecting and addressing this behaviour, we’re helping to keep things fair for honest small businesses.

“Another reason we’re heading to Broome, Cable Beach, Derby and Kununurra is because we’ve received intelligence from the community that some businesses aren’t playing by the rules, such as paying their workers cash in hand and keeping them off the books.”

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. Single Touch Payroll information sessions will also be offered in both locations.

The industries that are more likely to be visited by the ATO include:

  • Residential building construction
  • Building completion and installation services    
  • Other construction services                    
  • Building cleaning, pest control and gardening services
  • Accommodation                    
  • Automotive repair and maintenance    
  • Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services
  • Personal care services  

The latest number of towns set for a visit comes after the ATO announced it was planning to visit around 500 businesses in or around Port Macquarie and Wauchope in late July and early August.

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Community tip-offs trigger ATO visits to 700 WA businesses
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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the news 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.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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