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The largest tax scandal in Australia’s history – organised by the ATO

Friday, September 14, 2018

It’s a shock to find that what could be viewed as arguably the greatest tax scandal in Australia’s history was organised by the Australian Taxation Office. The tax revenue loss from high-wealth individuals who should have paid tax is likely in the order of $2 billion, perhaps even more.

The tax losses relate to an ATO tax amnesty called Project Do It which gave massive tax advantages to Australian high-wealth individuals who had hidden $6.5 billion in secret overseas (mostly Swiss) bank accounts. They were tax evaders who were about to be caught.  More...


Tax authority admits secret deals to protect the rich—targets small business instead

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Here’s an amazing admission. The United Kingdom tax authority, HMRC, has admitted that it does secret deals to avoid damaging the reputation of the most powerful members of society, allowing them to escape prosecution for financial crimes. But it still prosecutes small business people!

Gob-smacked? Yep! Talk about one rule for the rich and another for the ordinary person. We thought the UK is a democracy and isn’t there this historical thing called Magna Carta??? More...


ALP takes first step to make the ATO behave. But much more is needed

Friday, August 31, 2018

Breaking news is that the Australian Labor Party will, if they win government at the next election, restructure the ATO so that it is forced to use fairer processes in its handling of tax disputes. The ALP media release is here.

We are delighted with this first step by the ALP, but it doesn’t go far enough.

We have made it clear (and very public) that our faith in the ATO to operate fairly, even legally, has totally collapsed. We explained this in evidence to a Senate Inquiry in late June. We also provided a detailed submission.  More...


We oppose a draconian expansion of the ATO’s already draconian powers

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A proposed new law would effectively empower the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to bankrupt a business overnight where the ATO held an unproven view that PAYG tax was owed.

The law denies normal access to justice and the truth. It represents a scary step in a progressive crushing of the rule of law in Australia under the excuse of tax collection. We’ve made a submission opposing the BillMore...


ATO officially ‘unfair’ according to ATO's own report

Thursday, August 02, 2018

An ATO survey of self-employed small business people who had been in dispute with the ATO during 2017 has produced an embarrassing result for the ATO. The survey, costing close to $1 million, assessed whether people had been treated fairly by the ATO.

The outcome is damning of the ATO’s treatment of the self-employed. If a private business were to receive results like this, heads would be chopped in the senior management ranks. Such results would demonstrate massive customer dissatisfaction. The business would quickly be out of business. More...


Official government report confirms ATO has big problems

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The ATO has suffered another major hit to its reputation, this time (and again) from an official government investigation.

You may remember that following the Four Corners show ‘Mongrel Bunch of Bastards’ which exposed ATO abuse of small business people, the Minister, Kelly O’Dwyer, ordered a Treasury inquiry. Both the Small Business Ombudsman and the Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT)  were asked to participate.  More...


Self-employed tax benefits, but beware ATO traps

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Oh dear. Time to start organising information for your accountant for your 2018 tax return. Yes, it’s a drag but it’s gotta be done.

And to make sure you only pay the tax you’re legally required to pay, there are around 14-or-so specific self-employed, small business tax breaks you should check out.

We’ve put together a list from information provided by the Board of Taxation and the Australian Taxation Office. We’ve ‘de-cluttered’ their explanations. (They use too much tax-speak!) Our list is hereMore...


Government report says ATO denies “justice for small business”

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Following the ABC Four Corners program ‘Mongrel Bunch of Bastards’ alleging Australian Taxation Office abuse of small business people, the first of three government-ordered reports was released yesterday.

The report from Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnel states that the ATO has “serious system-wide issues” that result in “…fundamental denial of access to justice for small business.” More...


We give the Senate evidence on ATO small business behaviour

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Quite recently (14 June) we were invited to give evidence before a Senate hearing on the behaviour of the ATO towards small business. This was done within the context of proposals to require government departments to comply with ‘model litigant’ obligations. That is, to behave fairly and ethically!

We made a detailed submission supporting the proposal and explained how the ATO regularly abuses self-employed, small business people. More...


Please, Mr Tax Commissioner, get your facts straight!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

In all our commentary on the Australian Taxation Office, not once have we personalised our criticisms.

Yes, we have said that the Tax Commissioner is a Tax Dictator. But that is a statement of legal fact. All tax power by statute is vested in the Tax Commissioner. And those powers make the Commissioner effectively policeperson, prosecutor, judge, jury and financial hangman. That is, the powers of the office holder of the Tax Commissioner are the powers of a dictator! Here’s what the Tax Commissioner can do to youMore...



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