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So what can you legally claim and do at tax time and not fear the ATO?

Friday, June 30, 2017

Yes, today is the day that every self-employed person dreads.  It’s end of financial year! So what can you legally do with your tax and be certain you have acted legally?

Earlier this week we published (with his permission) correspondence from the ATO to Rod Douglass. Robert Gottliebsen also wrote this up. The reason for publishing this is so you could see for yourself exactly how the ATO treats self-employed small business people. We’ve had a big response.

On reading the correspondence, some people have commented that Rod was actually in the wrong. When we first read the correspondence in 2015 we also thought that that could be a reasonable conclusion! But then, when we looked at the facts, the reverse was the case. Rod had done nothing wrong. That’s why we came in to defend him. Rod had simply followed what, in 2006, the ATO had said on its website he could do! More...


You open the mail. You owe us $422,030.64 says the ATO. What??

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Imagine this. You arrive home from work. You’re a freelance consultant; an engineer or maybe an IT specialist currently doing work for a bank. Even an aged care worker or a plumber! You’re one of the 2 million plus self-employed people in Australia, one of the new breed of entrepreneurial ‘gig’ economy workers, so the commentators say!

A month ago you had a phone chat with a couple of seemingly friendly ATO officers who had queries about how you work and your tax returns. You were open and honest. Nothing to hide! Pretty simple really?

There’s a letter. You open it. It’s 18 pages of confusing Tax Office bureaucratic blabbering. Somehow you’re accused of tax fraud/evasion. You struggle to understand. But one thing hits you. It’s a demand to pay $422,030.64 for taxes going back 10 years, with 50% penalties and interest! More...


ATO tax audit officers like you’ve NEVER seen them!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

If you’ve been following the ATO-Cranston-tax fraud scandal, you’ll see the story is getting murkier and grimier by the day. Here’s the latest.  And here’s our tracking of the story. It’s not just about tax fraud but the way the scandal castes a question mark over the very integrity of the Australian Taxation Office’s operations. More...


We’ve changed our name! But we’re still the same—only getting stronger

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Well here’s a turn-up for us! In 2000 (goodness, 18 years ago!) we formed Independent Contractors Australia to advocate for the rights of self-employed people. And in that time we’ve been more successful than we could have envisaged. More...


Good news: BIG review of Australian Taxation Office

Thursday, June 08, 2017

You’ll be aware of our ongoing heavy criticism of the Australian Taxation Office in their treatment of small business people.  In our view:

‘Mum and dad’ businesses are targeted by the ATO with unfair, even questionably legal, tactics.
And as just one example, we successfully defended Rod Douglass from baseless ATO accusations of fraud/evasion. More...


Campaign started for small business tax tribunal

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Regular website visitors will have followed our campaigns on the tax front. In fact we’ve been campaigning on tax issues since we began in 2000.

Our years of experience and knowledge came to a head late last year in the successful legal defence of independent IT contractor Rod Douglass. In court the ATO admitted that its allegation of ‘evasion’ against Rod was ‘baseless’. It dropped some $400,000 in tax claims against him. We have more legal cases pending in 2017.  More...


Responding to an age of economic uncertainty

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

On Friday ‘The Trump’ becomes US President leading to, who knows? Meanwhile, Putin outmanoeuvres everyone as the master puppeteer of the Syrian ‘solution’. Ultimately it’s about oil? Chinese President Xi Jinping is the star attraction at the Davos capitalist soiree. That’s unsurprising! Based on purchasing power comparisons, China is now the world’s largest economy. The British pound is travelling south due to Brexit. Several pending elections in European countries could well see further disintegration of the EU.

From these snapshots the only thing we can say about economic certainty is that we live in a period of economic uncertainty! So do global forces make us powerless? No! More...


ATO’s humiliating admission exposes its baseless accusations of fraud

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

On Monday, ICA's Ken Phillips sat in the Federal Court in Sydney with our legal team witnessing an extraordinary event.

We were defending Rod Douglass against the ATO. You’ll remember we’ve been assisting Rod for nearly two years. We’ve explained this before.

Rod had been accused by the ATO of fraud/evasion on the basis that he should have sought ‘professional’ advice before submitting his tax returns even though he followed ATO website information in completing his returns. He had declared all income. Yet the ATO sent Rod a $550,000 tax bill backdated 10 years which meant he would be bankrupt.  More...


ATO attacks mum and dad partnerships. We’re all at risk!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

If you are one of the 2 million self-employed people in Australia we suggest you read the following very carefully. This is a story of (frankly) how concerned you should be about your potential treatment by the Australian Taxation Office. It’s the story of Rod Douglass, a 55-year-old IT contractor, but it could just as easily be you.

We first explained the tax issues in March this year. Then three weeks ago we announced the legal action we have organised to defend Rod, who’s been accused of tax evasion and sent a bill for $550,000 backdated 10 years. (It will bankrupt him!) What he did was comply with tax information published on the ATO website. However, the ATO says that by acting on this ATO information Rod committed tax evasion. ICA and our legal team are organizing Rod’s defence at no cost to him. This an important issue of justice.  More...


ICA starts legal battle with the ATO on two fronts

Thursday, September 29, 2016

At ICA, we’ve been complaining to the ATO for years about its bad treatment of small business people. We’ve made major submissions to tax inquiries. Look at this long list. We’ve tried to work with the ATO but there’s been no change!

So now, thanks to some brilliant lawyers, we’re off to court. Here’s an overview of the case we described in March this year.  More...



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