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You think Brexit is a mess? It’s the same with UK small business tax. A mess!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

There seems to be a new way to spell ‘incompetent.’ It’s now spelt ‘HM Revenue and Customs.’ That’s the title of the UK tax authority.

The new spelling of ‘incompetent’ is justified given the way HMRC have grossly botched up the handling of self-employed tax in the UK since 2000. We’ve put together the story which we find quite gobsmacking. More...


US Congress and Trump agree. Discipline the IRS to prevent taxpayer abuse. Message for Australia

Friday, July 12, 2019

1 July 2019 proved an historic day for US taxpayers when President Trump signed into law the Taxpayers First Act.

The Act is intended to bring discipline to the US tax agency (IRS) after years of strong evidence of both its administrative incompetence and systemic abuse of taxpayers, particularly small business people.  More...


Reflections on an incompetent ATO—ABNs & Gig stuff

Friday, June 28, 2019

Earlier this week we discussed the history of Uber in its global legal battles to have its drivers accepted as independent contractors. The Uber battle is at the forefront of the gig ‘question’.

Today we focus on the Australian Taxation Office and its incompetence (from our experience) in assessing employee vs independent contractor status. The ATO should learn from a significant Uber legal decision in Australia. It probably won’t though More...


Hysterical reaction to Uber (gig) drivers not being employees. ATO wake-up call

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Earlier this month the Fair Work Ombudsman released a statement that, after a two-year investigation, it has concluded that drivers working through Uber are not employees.

The Transport Workers Union described the decision as ‘…devastating for workers in the gig economy’. One academic said the decision was ‘very disappointing’.  More...


Goodness. Shock! We’re praising the ATO. That’s not like us!!!

Monday, June 03, 2019

It probably had to happen at some stage! For all the criticism we direct at the ATO (all warranted) there had to come a time when we could direct some praise!

You’ll be aware of our intense campaigning against the ATO for bad treatment of small business people. We’ve now had a very good experience, however. More...


Morrison and Shorten both committed to ATO reform on small business treatment

Monday, May 13, 2019

You’ll be aware that our biggest campaigning push over the last two years has been for major reform to the ATO. Here’s the history of our battle.

We’ve congratulated both the Morrison Coalition and Shorten’s Labor for recognising that there are big problems with the ATO’s mistreatment of small business people. The evidence is overwhelming.

What’s been important is that both Morrison and Shorten have responded. More...


ATO exposed again! Systemic mistreatment of small business people

Monday, April 29, 2019

It doesn’t seem to stop. The ATO continues to deny that it does anything wrong, but official reviews and reports keep slamming the ATO. We listed in early April this year the string of parliamentary and other reports calling for urgent reform of the ATO.

This time it’s the Small Business Ombudsman reporting on the ATO’s enforcing debt even while the debt is being challenged in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The report finds that the ATO does this on 12 per cent of occasions. This destroys the small business and their ability to challenge the alleged debt. The Ombudsman severely criticizes the ATO and calls for legislative reform.  More...


Self-employed, small business people are a key in this election: Here’s why

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Now that the federal election has been called (18 May) the importance of how self-employed people vote can be understood.

Demographer Bernard Salt gives an excellent analysis in this article from The Australian. Salt draws on ABS small business activity data calibrated to electoral boundaries. He looks at demographic changes between the last election in 2016 and now. He focuses on sole trader and small business activity.  More...


ATO – Mongrel Bunch of Bastards – one year on

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

It is one year to the day since the Four Corners show ‘Mongrel Bunch of Bastards’ was aired. This ABC production exposed the ATO’s mistreatment of small business people. Watch the show here.  It continues to be relevant.

So, what has happened in 12 months? More...


Can the ATO fix its cultural problem with contractors? Australian entrepreneurship depends on a fix

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

You might recall the campaign hullaballoo we generated in late 2017 when the ATO cancelled the ABNs of 16 low-income, work-from-home, self-employed women. The ATO ‘assessed’ the women as employees. The denial of ABNs destroyed their incomes and forced many on to welfare. After 13 weeks of intense campaigning, the ATO ‘temporarily’ reinstated their ABNs.

The weird thing about this situation was that when we asked if any of the women were not paying their required tax, the ATO replied that it didn’t know. We checked and verified that all the women were paying tax as required. The ATO’s job is to collect tax. But in this case the ATO didn’t care about tax compliance. We discovered another agenda. We confirmed that powerful forces in the ATO are obsessed with the thought that there is something wrong about self-employed people. The ATO seeks to stop people being contractors whether or not tax compliance is occurring. This is the ATO acting well outside of its remit.  More...



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