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Uptick in GST Audits

April 2012

If you're responsible for lodging your GST returns, then be aware that you'll need to make sure you dot your Is and cross your Ts.  We've noticed an uptick on the number of taxpayers being targeted for GST audits in recent months.

Having invested in technology and capability to detect and identify fraud and deliberate avoidance of GST obligations, the ATO identified three key areas they are focussing on:

  • Improving activity statement lodgement
  • Dealing with GST fraud and evasion
  • GST debt

While the ATO is aggressively focused on taxpayers deliberately choosing not to comply with GST regulations, there is a possibility that some will be targeted as a result of not keeping adequate records. When you're faced with an ATO audit, you must be able to demonstrate your GST records are accurate and compliance as there's very little wiggleroom for mistakes.

Some of the key activities that the ATO are undertaking to ensure compliance include:

  • Using risk indicators to detect incorrect or fraudulent refund claims
  • Issuing lodgement reminders to tax payers by mail and SMS
  • Contacting taxpayers with overdue activity statements and late payments
  • Database matching and benchmarks for small business
  • Taking firmer action against  taxpayers who do not work with the ATO to address GST and other tax debts.

A full list of the measures the ATO is taking can be found at http://www.ato.gov.au/businesses/distributor.aspx?menuid=0&doc=/content/00264648.htm&page=6#P197_21393.

With their aggressive stance on non-compliance, it is better to be on the right side of the ATO with your records in proper order.

If you're uncertain about new requirements for compliance or you would like an independent review of your GST records and collections, contact us on 02 9957 4033.

 

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Last updated April 2012. This article is provided for information purposes only and should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.

 

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Disclaimer

This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.

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