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ATO cuts could help 'high-end tax cheats'


Staff cuts at the ATO could make it easier for “high-end tax cheats” to infiltrate the system, according to a union deputy president.

By Katarina Taurian10 minute read

The ATO is going through a “significant downsizing process” and cutting 3,000 jobs by the end of October, Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) deputy president Alistair Waters told AccountantsDaily’s sister publication SMSF Adviser.

The CPSU fears the staff cuts will make it easier for tax cheats to abuse the system, Mr Waters said.


“Pulling 3,000 jobs out of the tax office by October is huge, particularly given that at the moment, according to the Budget, it’s to be followed up with a further 1,700 job cuts. That has to impact the ATO’s capacity to ensure compliance,” he said.

“Australia’s tax system relies on the community considering that it’s a fair system. So being able to carry out those compliance and enforcement functions effectively and being seen to do that is really important.”

Mr Waters also agreed staff cuts could potentially have a negative impact on monitoring and compliance of the SMSF sector.

“We’re also concerned that we’ll be looking at staff… being asked to carry out functions they just don’t have the skills or capacity to carry out,” he said.

“We don’t see how the 3,000 jobs across the tax office can’t have a negative impact on tax revenue,” he added.

ATO cuts could help 'high-end tax cheats'
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