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Official government report confirms ATO has big problems

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The ATO has suffered another major hit to its reputation, this time (and again) from an official government investigation.

You may remember that following the Four Corners show ‘Mongrel Bunch of Bastards’ which exposed ATO abuse of small business people, the Minister, Kelly O’Dwyer, ordered a Treasury inquiry. Both the Small Business Ombudsman and the Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT)  were asked to participate.  More...


Self-employed tax benefits, but beware ATO traps

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Oh dear. Time to start organising information for your accountant for your 2018 tax return. Yes, it’s a drag but it’s gotta be done.

And to make sure you only pay the tax you’re legally required to pay, there are around 14-or-so specific self-employed, small business tax breaks you should check out.

We’ve put together a list from information provided by the Board of Taxation and the Australian Taxation Office. We’ve ‘de-cluttered’ their explanations. (They use too much tax-speak!) Our list is hereMore...


Government report says ATO denies “justice for small business”

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Following the ABC Four Corners program ‘Mongrel Bunch of Bastards’ alleging Australian Taxation Office abuse of small business people, the first of three government-ordered reports was released yesterday.

The report from Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnel states that the ATO has “serious system-wide issues” that result in “…fundamental denial of access to justice for small business.” More...


We give the Senate evidence on ATO small business behaviour

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Quite recently (14 June) we were invited to give evidence before a Senate hearing on the behaviour of the ATO towards small business. This was done within the context of proposals to require government departments to comply with ‘model litigant’ obligations. That is, to behave fairly and ethically!

We made a detailed submission supporting the proposal and explained how the ATO regularly abuses self-employed, small business people. More...


Please, Mr Tax Commissioner, get your facts straight!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

In all our commentary on the Australian Taxation Office, not once have we personalised our criticisms.

Yes, we have said that the Tax Commissioner is a Tax Dictator. But that is a statement of legal fact. All tax power by statute is vested in the Tax Commissioner. And those powers make the Commissioner effectively policeperson, prosecutor, judge, jury and financial hangman. That is, the powers of the office holder of the Tax Commissioner are the powers of a dictator! Here’s what the Tax Commissioner can do to youMore...


Unfair contract headache for banks at Royal Commission

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

We’re mighty proud of our achievement in securing unfair contract protections for self-employed, small business people. It was a campaign we started in 2009. Here’s our campaign history. It was tough work.

The Australian Bankers Association strongly opposed us and we had several polite but unsuccessful meetings with them. They fought to kill the Bill in 2015, but thanks to some hard work and the Senate our campaign succeeded. The laws started in late 2016. More...


We’re not mongrels and we don’t cook people, says ATO boss

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Yesterday morning the head of the Australian Taxation Office, Mr Chris Jordan, denied that the ATO were a ‘mongrel bunch of bastards’. (See ABC report here.)

Mr Jordan was making a presentation to a Senate Estimates hearing and responding to the Four Corners show on 9 April ‘Mongrel Bunch of Bastards’.

Mr Jordan also rejected our comments in the show that the ATO “cooked people slowly, until you are roasted and you are dead”. Mr Jordan said: “People at the ATO do not get up in the morning thinking who can I destroy or boil to death.” More...


Like the banks, the ATO needs a Royal Commission

Thursday, May 24, 2018

We’ve come to the conclusion that the truth about the Australian Taxation Office’s bullying of self-employed people will only come out in a full Royal Commission inquiry.

We’ve been strongly prompted to this conclusion by an article in The Australian yesterday by the doyen of business columnists, Robert Gottliebsen. Robert is correct in his article 'The ATO is repeating the hideous mistakes of bank boards'More...


ATO and the card trick called ‘reform’. Fraud is what it’s about

Friday, May 18, 2018

We read yesterday in the Australian Financial Review that the Australian Taxation office is implementing a new process on fraud and evasion ‘opinions’. Remember that the ATO has two years to query your tax return. After that, your return is locked in.

But, if the ATO ‘forms an opinion’ that you committed fraud or evasion, it can go back in time as long as it likes. The ATO doesn’t have to prove fraud or evasion, just ‘form an opinion’. This power has been massively abused by the ATO, mainly against self-employed people! More...


Top (retired) Federal Court Judge blows whistle on ATO

Monday, April 23, 2018

Since the Four Corners show ‘Mongrel Bunch of Bastards’, which exposed the abuse by the ATO of small business people, the ATO has been in denial mode. The ATO’s press release is essentially a ‘nothing to see here folks’ statement.

The Australian Services Union, representing ATO staff, has demanded that we at Self-Employed Australia apologise for ‘scurrilous’ accusations. It is outraged by our statements in our submission opposing the ATO credit agency report Bill. It’s pleasing to report that this Bill has now been put ‘on hold’ by the Minister, Kelly O’Dwyer.  More...



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