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12 Sep 2019 Latest ATO updates

Complex issues resolution service 

If you need assistance solving a complex query, the ATO has a range of support services available to help you, including their Complex issue resolution (CIR) service. 

CIR is available to resolve complex queries you have been unable to resolve via the ATO’s online services, or by contacting them by phone. 

The CIR service can assist you with queries including: 

  • administrative issues, which are outside the norm and not able to be resolved by the ATO’s standard processes
  • general advice about new or changed legislation
  • complex or multiple, related tax technical issues
  • general help with legal interpretation. 

Enquiries can be sent to the ATO via the Complex issues resolution form, or you can send your query by email to TaxPractitionerAssistance@ato.gov.au. All enquiries will be acknowledged within one working day and aimed to be resolved within five working days, where possible. 

For more information, visit Complex issue resolutionon the ATO website. 

Join the ATO’s live webcast on 19 September 

Tune in to the ATO’s next Tax professionals conversations webcast on Thursday 19 September at 2.00pm AEST. A range of topics will be discussed, including: 

  • what the ATO is seeing this tax time
  • the latest on on digital services, including Online services for agents, the introduction of myGovID and the decommissioning of AUSkey
  • assurance activities, including how the ATO is tackling the black economy, as well as their business and agent visit programs. 

Find out more here. 

ATO impersonation scam report – July 2019 

Highlights of the ATO impersonation scam July 2019 report are: 

  • 6,645 phone scam reports were officially recorded – a small increase of 200 from June
  • 6,179 online scam reports were received in the first month of the ATO’s online reporting form going live
  • 465 phishing scam emails were reported to reported
  • $197,057 was reported as being paid to scammers – a 43% increase from June
  • 520 clients provided scammers with their personal identifying information (PII) including date of birth, tax file number (TFN), driver's licence number and notice of assessment details. 

Read the full report here

Tax crime prosecution case studies 

The following case studies reinforce that those who deliberately cheat the system will be held to account. You can read the case studies here

Stealing refunds from clients: Tax agent con caught and convicted 

Failure to lodge: Company director sentenced for ongoing non-compliance 

False work-related expense claims 

  • Incorrect deductions land chef in hot water
  • Five employees convicted for false WRE claims 

GST fraud 

  • Not-for-profit not compliant
  • Accounting student imprisoned for GST fraud 

Refund fraud 

  • Three years and three months jail for tax fugitive
  • Man convicted of income tax fraud. 

Latest tax crime case: Jail time for tax agent caught stealing refunds from clients 

A Sydney man was sentenced in the Parramatta Court to a one year jail term for lodging fraudulent income tax returns on behalf of clients and stealing refunds. 

In his role as a registered tax agent from 2011 to 2015, Mr Nigel Bradshaw lodged a number of income tax returns in which he under-reported his clients’ income in order to gain larger refunds. The refunds were then funnelled through a bank account Mr Bradshaw controlled before being passed on to his unwitting clients, with Mr Bradshaw pocketing the inflated difference. On other occasions, Mr Bradshaw lodged correct income tax returns on behalf of his clients, but still siphoned off some refunds into his own accounts. 

Read more here

Australian Financial Markets Association Liaison Group key messages 18 April 2019 

Key topics discussed at the Australian Financial Markets Association Liaison Group 18 April 2019 include: 

  • DPT guidance
  • SGE penalties
  • OECD hybrid mismatch rules
  • Addendum to TR 2005/5
  • Liquidity management discussion paper
  • Dividend withholding tax reclaims
  • Tax assurance program (Top 100 & 1000)
  • ATO banking and finance strategy team
  • 2019-20 Federal Budget announcement 

More information can be found here.

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