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Technology could cut compliance costs


Tax compliance is costing small business $18.4 billion every year, says the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

By Michael Masterman 8 minute read

According to Michael Crocker, the institute’s head of tax policy, this is about 1.2 per cent of the county’s GDP and 14 per cent of total tax revenue collected by the Commonwealth.

In a submission to the Board of Taxation’s request for input on tax impediments facing small business, the institute has identified major tax changes that could be considered as part of the federal government’s promised white paper on tax reform, as well as ideas that could be considered now.

The institute’s submission highlighted technology as a key factor in lowering small business compliance costs.


“Many small business owners are tech savvy; with so much going on, they have to be,” Mr Crocker said.

“Technology can make interaction with agencies such as the ATO faster and more efficient, while enhanced data collection and analytics enables the ATO to develop better risk identification techniques so that compliant small businesses are identified and left alone by ATO audit teams,” he added.

“However, the government and the ATO need to take account of the compliance costs of technological solutions and provide greater encouragement for small business to embrace current programs, such as Standard Business Reporting.”

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