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ABN Withdrawals—Leon Byner radio interviews on radio station 5AA

Leon Byner hosts a morning talk show on Adelaide’s top rating radio station 5AA

He took up the cause of the ABN cancellations conducting on-air interviews.

Here are snippets of the interviews with links to the full transcripts.

Interview with Robert Gottliebsen, Columnist, The Australian, 6 December 2017.

Full interview is here.

Robert (in reply to Leon’s questions):

  • Oh, this is awful. What we’ve just discovered is the tip of the iceberg, I think. And remember what these people are, Leon. They are ordinary people, they’ve often got disabilities or problems or, they’re just ordinary people.
  • So, the tax man says, “Ah, no mate. You’re employed. And I’m going to fix you up good and proper. I’ll take your ABN away.”
Leon asks
  • Now, Bob, why is this being done? What’s the justification for this?
Robert replies:
  • I wouldn’t have a clue!
  • It’s because, I think the tax people, believe that everybody should be employed and this contracting shouldn’t exist.
  • You know what this is, Leon? These guys (ATO) have made a terrible mistake, and just, at least the more intelligent of them has woken up to this but they can’t admit it. So what they’ll do is … (run) … what we would call a Kangaroo Court.

Interview with Ken Phillips, Executive Director, Self-Employed Australia, 7 December 2017.

Full interview is here.

Ken (in reply to Leon’s questions):
  • When I get on the phone to a woman who’s suddenly had her income switched off because of this ATO aggression. She breaks down on the phone … and apologises for crying because she doesn’t know how she’s going to cover today’s mortgage or how she’s going to cover the electricity bill. And this is just a disaster and we can’t allow this to continue.
  • One of the things we’ve found with the Tax Office … that when they make a mistake, and in this case it’s, it was a ‘mistake’ at law, they just …won’t back down. They lock themselves into a particular position and they just drive ahead with it.
  • Well, I’ve got some contacts in the Treasury’s office. You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to talk to them today and just see if I can expedite this situation where we can do something on air, Ken, and get some clarity.

Interview with Deb Jenkins, Deputy-Commissioner, Small Business, Australian Taxation Office, 8 December 2017.

Full interview is here.

Deb (in reply to Leon’s questions):
  • Look, I mean I can’t talk about individual taxpayers obviously due to taxpayer confidentiality.

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