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‘Houston we have a problem’—says ATO—at long last!

Sunday, September 08, 2019

In 1970, when the Apollo 13 space mission suffered a major malfunction, the astronauts immediately declared to mission headquarters in Houston, Texas: ‘Houston we’ve had a problem’. Here’s a clip from the 1995 Tom Hanks’ movie on Apollo 13 in which he makes the declaration.

Recognising and admitting to a problem is the first, most critical step to fixing it.

Just a week ago Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan finally declared ‘we have a problem’. But, wow, has that declaration been a long time coming! More...


ATO power push lacks proper checks and balances—Credit agency reporting

Sunday, August 25, 2019

We’re campaigning to create ‘rule of law’ checks and balances on the Australian Taxation Office. But, while we do that, the ATO is pushing parliament hard for new laws to extend its powers, with minimal if any checks and balances. They do this under the excuse of reining in the black economy.

Parliament and the community should not be conned by this ATO power grab. The ATO’s power push perverts both the rule of law and the democratic process. More...


How the UK tax authority has stuffed small business tax policy

Monday, August 19, 2019

Finally, a reaction is happening from ‘the peoples’ parliament

I was in London in early August networking with key campaigners on UK small business tax issues. This included our long-time friends at contractorcalculator and (separately) the Association for Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE). The reason for meeting up with our friends was to achieve a deeper understanding of the behaviour of taxing authorities internationally. More...


Tax authorities. Do they have God-like powers? Discuss!!

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

I’m in London all this week meeting with key campaigners on UK tax issues and the self-employed.

You might remember this recent news post we put out which summarised the BIG problems that self-employed people have with the UK tax authority (HMRC). Essentially, HMRC is conducting a long-running campaign of ‘double taxing’ self-employed people. Yes, the Brits don’t just have to worry about the cricket and Brexit!! HMRC is attacking self-employed entrepreneurship. More...


Regulation-lovers with a ‘solution’ desperately seeking a problem—Gig it!!!

Monday, August 05, 2019

Since the Global Financial Crisis, unemployment has dropped to low levels in most of the developed world at least. That’s fantastic. It needs to continue.

One of the important factors in this positive trend seems to be the evolution of work arrangements that enable quick responses to fast-moving markets and consumers. Flexible work creates work! But this gets regulation-lovers worried. They reckon that if work isn’t controlled through government regulation, there’s got to be something wrong. Currently their focus is on the so-called ‘gig’ economy. Apparently, it’s a big ‘problem’ that needs a solution.  More...


We ask MPs: ‘Stop this ATO bully boy tax Bill’

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

We rushed into action late Saturday night when we discovered that a really scary tax Bill was listed for a vote in Parliament this week.

The new law is supposed to stop illegal phoenixing. (That’s when someone sends their business bankrupt then ‘rebirths’ it under another name. They leave victims with huge debts.) But this new law would instead empower the ATO to: More...


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...


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...



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