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MEMBER 42 writes:

“Love the long winded response from the ATO on single touch payroll.

It is painfully obvious that no one in the ATO has ever had a real job or worked in small industry.

With big business, including the government paying their accounts in 90-120 days it is hard enough to get the funds to pay staff without also having to pay tax and super on the same day. Cash flow is king but the ATO has no concept of cash flow.

What next, will we have to remit the GST the same day we receive it?”


MEMBER 43 writes:

“In response to the ATO SBR response.

I am sorry but I think the ATO should move out of their comfort zone and transfer the Canberra Head Office to Darwin.

To use countries where red tape requires their companies be audited annually and small business is suppressed by way too much red tape is tragic. Perhaps you should look at the per capita businesses to population in the countries you have quoted and therein lie your reasons why these numbers are irrelevant to Australia.

If I want a paper copy of my BAS to pay the Tax Office money you would think they would be happy to provide any means possible for me to provide the necessary payment. The harder you make it to pay the less chance people will pay. (Check the ASIC business names register and how many names are not now renewed due to the complexity of paying a bill.)

The average age of the ATO officer must still be very low. There are not a few but hundreds of thousands of people in this country who do not have access to the internet. Not because they cannot hook up due to location. Simply because they cannot afford to hook up to the internet. How many ATO staff outside of the smartphones would have the internet connected at home?

To be fair, small business has not had a problem with Tax Office red tape in the past, the main problems are associated with ASIC, Fair Work, WorkCover and Payroll Tax. All of which the ATO know very little about.

We are not stupid and we are not Luddites. You should deal with the 74 year old who is told to use a friend’s computer to access the internet to pay a government bill. Or, read the contents of a letter to a successful businessman because they cannot read and write.

Get out of your Ivory Tower, stop quoting irrelevant statistics and start listening with respect to our genuine concerns.


”MEMBER 44 writes:

“Just read 2015 TAXVINE No 7 (6 March 2015) Member comments and the ATO’s response to the SBR regime.

‘We believe that the professions have a strong role to play in improving Australian productivity.’

What a joke. They have never cared about the professions unless they find another way for us to do their work.

I am currently the data entry, filing cabinet, debt collector and mail room for the ATO. About the only thing they don’t ask/push on to the profession is making them their morning tea or coffee. The response was just SPIN, SPIN and more SPIN.

Where are the phone calls/discussion groups/email questionnaires about these schemes? ‘We do care what the profession thinks though….’ I haven’t been asked once as a tax agent in over twenty five years.

Superstream is a another good example. More red tape, more administration time and costs for small business – is that increasing productivity? I doubt it. One employee companies such as engineers/doctors etc paying their contributions to SMSFs now have additional costs for what was a very simple bank transfer or cheque deposit. Ridiculous. It is simply an audit tool for the ATO and this new reporting is just more of the same. It is all beginning to sound like ‘… speed cameras are for safety, not revenue raising….’

I have been in the profession for over twenty five years and have seen the workloads on small business to do compliance work increase and increase. Want to improve the economy? Well, let small business get on with doing what they do best, not tie them up in more paperwork and red tape, with very little productivity gains.

Where are the professional bodies in all this?

PS: On ATO deadlines and percentages – my one Delayed Return from October 2012 is still on my Delayed Return list as of 2015!!! Great work ATO. Get your own productivity in order before solving the world’s problems and unleashing this bureaucratic waffle/spin on us all.”

TAX COUNSEL THILINI WICKRAMASURIYA COMMENTS: The Tax Institute has been advocating to minimise any additional red tape for small businesses arising from recent government initiatives. We are making a detailed submission to the ATO regarding the red tape which may arise for some businesses from the Single Touch Payroll initiative and a broader submission to the House of Representatives Committee on Tax and Revenue inquiry into the ATO annual report for 2014. Both should be available on our website shortly. We are also raising such issues through the ATO Tax Practitioner Advisory Group and you can find details of those consultations regularly in TaxVine.


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