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Tax Commissioner gives key speech praising the ATO

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Last Thursday (14 March), the current Australian Taxation Commissioner delivered a major speech.

He said of himself: More...


Powerful ‘anti’ forces need a bucket of icy-cold water poured over their heads

Monday, March 04, 2019

According to demographer Bernard Salt, there’s a big cultural shift in Australia towards being your own boss. And it’s a lifestyle thing. In The Australian Bernard referred to: More...


Morrison’s great small business tax intent risks ‘blowing up’

Sunday, February 24, 2019

On Friday (22 February) another scathing report on the performance of the ATO was released. (See this media coverage.) This time it was from the Parliamentary Committee responsible for overseeing the ATO. The report was particularly critical of the ATO’s treatment of small business people. The Committee made 37 major recommendations for ATO change. (Details are here.)

We’re delighted to see this new report and thank goodness parliamentarians are listening and probing. But we need action now.  More...


ATO Executive ‘Not Guilty’– Credible evidence that ATO audits are ‘wrong’

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Last week top ex-ATO official Michael Cranston was found not guilty of misusing his position to benefit his son who is on separate charges of alleged tax fraud.

In his defence Mr Cranston said that the actions he took in relation to his son were no more than what he had done for other taxpayers on hundreds of occasions. That is, that tax audits were often so bad that he had to intervene to stop injustice against taxpayers.  More...


Thank goodness. Morrison Government is DOING, rather than just promising, ATO reform

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Usually, in the lead-up to elections, governments make all sort of promises in the hope that this will give them favour with the electorate. But we’re delighted to report that with small business tax reform the Morrison government is delivering, not simply talking.

Today the government announced that the Small Business Tax Tribunal will start up on the 1 March 2019—just two weeks away. This is huge. We continue to see bad ATO small business audits and an ATO incapable of quickly fixing glaring audit errors. It’s an audit system of considerable incompetence, with small business people the victims.  More...


China and the ATO – Dictatorship vs the Rule of Law

Friday, February 01, 2019

Yes, we have focused heavily on seeking reform of the Australian Taxation Office in recent times. But the issue is not simply about tax revenue. It’s much bigger. It’s about the rule of law. In this longer-than-normal communication we explain what motivates us by drawing some parallels between China and the ATO.  More...


ATO refuses internal corruption probe. Anti-Corruption Commission needed

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

This week ex-Deputy ATO Commissioner Michael Cranston arrived at court for the start of his trial for allegedly using his office with the intention of dishonestly obtaining a benefit for his son.  Cranston was the top tax official in charge of high-wealth individuals. His trial forms a backdrop to questions about the integrity of the Australian Taxation Office.

We’ve raised questions as to whether the ATO suffers from internal corruption. In September last year we released a major report on a special deal handed to high-wealth individuals in 2013. The deal was organised by then-Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston, with a loss of tax revenue estimated as high as $4.3 billion. There are calls for a high level inquiryMore...


Continuing our theme of (put me to sleep?) summer holiday tax reading

Monday, January 14, 2019

Goodness. We had lots of people respond to our last news alert of (boring) summer tax reading. Large numbers of people downloaded our December submissions to Parliamentary and Treasury reviews of the Australian Taxation Office.

So we thought we’d enliven your summer reading even more! This time it’s the submission we made to Treasury in its review of Australian Business Numbers.

Over the last few years the ATO has been aggressively denying individuals access to ABNs and cancelling ABNs. There’s been an attitude that many people are not really running small businesses. The ATO reckons that it can identify a ‘real’ business from a ‘sham’ business.  More...


Here’s some really interesting (not?) holiday reading

Monday, January 07, 2019

We trust the Xmas pudding and New Year champers have worked through your system and you now feel suitably relaxed as the new business year slowly winds back up.

If you’re after some ‘exciting’ tax reading (yawn!), we had bit of a flurry of submissions we needed to get to the government and parliament before Christmas. Here are a couple of them. More...


Criminal justice vs Tax Justice. Are the two the same?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

In what would seem a rather startling revelation in The Australian yesterday, Robert Gottliebsen comments that, pending an explanation, in his view  More...



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