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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...


The ‘What’ and ‘Why’ of the ATO small business reform

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

We wrote yesterday to thank the many players involved in efforts to reform the ATO’s treatment of self-employed, small business people. Today we explain what that reform is and why it’s important.

The reform is the creation of the Small Business Tax Tribunal (SBTT) that started on 1 March. It’s a division within the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. There are two key documents to understand: More...


Watch out! Here comes a cascade of thanks. Major ATO reform for the self-employed seems to be here

Monday, March 25, 2019

Okay, get ready for it. In this update we’re going to praise a lot of people.

The reason is that it’s looking as though the sort of reform we need from the ATO in its treatment of small business people is actually happening. See this article in today’s Australian.

It's all to do with this document released on the ATO’s website last Friday (22 March). Frankly, we’re surprised how far this is developing. We’ll explain this in detail tomorrow with the key being the operation of the Small Business Tax Tribunal.  More...


Some sensible facts in the ‘gig’ economy/small business debate

Sunday, March 24, 2019

We recently discussed the re-emerging campaign against self-employment being cooked up principally by unions and the Labor ‘left’. We’ve seen this over many decades and this time the ‘evil’ is the gig economy. More...


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...


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...


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...


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...


HUGE breakthrough for small business – ATO reform

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Late last night the news broke of the Morrison government’s decision to create a Small Business Tax Tribunal. Robert Gottliebsen in The Australian has scooped the story.

We launched a campaign in February last year for a Small Business Tax Tribunal. Obviously, we are hugely pleased to see the Morrison government take this initiative for fair treatment of small businesses.  More...



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